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Weekly AUDIO NEWS for July 25, 2001


Digital TV Expansion - Sales of digital TV increased for the third consecutive month in June, showing an 82% increase from June of 2000, according to figures from the Consumer Electronics Association. Consumer dollars invested in DTV are expected to reach nearly $5 billion by the end of this year. CES called on broadcasters to originate more digital programming and for the cable TV industry to resolve their present issues around must-carry and cable-DTV product compatibility. (HDTV is generally not available via cable services, greatly hampering its expansion.)

DISH Network to Carry CBS HDTV - CBS-TV, currently offering 94% of its prime time dramas and comedies in HDTV, has signed a deal with DISH Network to provide both its East and West Coast HDTV feeds to selected DISH subscribers. CBS also broadcasts many sports events in HDTV. 40 CBS-owned and affiliated stations now broadcast HDTV, with 75 expected by the year's end. Both DISH Network and CBS employ the highest form of HDTV, with 1080 lines of resolution and a data rate of up to 19.37 million bits per second. This is the equal of the land-based telecasts from CBS stations and boasts a picture that is over six times "sharper" than standard NTSC television.

Feud in the Wagner family - A power struggle not unlike that of the mythical figures in Richard Wagner's Ring cycle is going on in the family of his present-day descendants. Nike Wagner, his great-granddaughter, has announced that she and the director of the Stuttgart State Opera are applying to co-direct the historic Wagner Festival in Bayreuth, Bavaria. Her cousin Eva Pasquier Wagner was appointed in March to direct the festival but says she doesn't want the job unless the current director - her estranged father Wolfgang Wagner - steps down completely. Wolfgang, the composer's grandson, led the festival since l973 and insists on his wife Gudrun to succeed him.

[There will be no Audio News next Wednesday due to the move of our offices.]

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