Twins fans who have high-definition television got some good news last week when Fox Sports North announced it would carry 95 of its 115 telecasts in that format this season. That is an increase of 30 games from 2008 and continues the network's shift toward airing more games in high definition.
Mike Dimond, the senior vice president and general manager of Fox Sports North, said this is a "transition year" for the Fox Sports regionals in terms of HD, adding, "We hope that by the start of baseball next year that every pro event will be in high definition."
Fox Sports North will carry 20 of its 45 Wild telecasts and 20 of its 40 Wolves games in HD this season. The network began showing the Twins in HD in 2006, airing only 17 games in the format that year. That figure grew to 43 in 2007 and 65 last season.
Dimond is well aware of the advantages to having his network do games in HD, but as with everything these days, the current economic climate factors into the equation. Producing games in high definition costs more but doesn't provide additional revenue.
That's part of the reason why Dimond is very pleased Fox Sports North still will be able to show more than 80 percent of its Twins telecasts in HD. "I think it's a great accomplishment in the environment in which we find ourselves," Dimond said. "Is it ultimately where we would like to be? No, we'd like 100 percent of the games in HD. But under the circumstances, I'm very happy with this."
The first Twins high-definition telecast of the season will air Wednesday when they play host to Seattle. That will be the first of 10 April games that air in HD. For those who have recently purchased high-definition sets, keep in mind that such telecasts are usually placed on special channels by the local cable and satellite providers. This means that going to Fox Sports North's regular channel won't enable you to see its HD telecasts.