Kansas State to start HD network

Kansas State announced plans Monday for a high-definition digital network that will broadcast live sports, replays of classic games, news conferences and other events.

The network, called K-StateHD.TV, will feature games that aren’t picked up by the Big 12 Network Television Package. That will include one football game per year, a handful of women’s basketball games and most home volleyball and baseball games. There probably won’t be any men’s basketball games available.

Kansas State sports information director Kenny Lannou said the network is an extension of more limited service already offered through the school’s athletics website provider, CBS College Network.

Subscribers will pay the same amount – $9.95 per month or $79.95 per year – to get the upgraded service. But the games and other events will be shot with higher-quality equipment and using more cameras. Some content, such as campus lectures and performances, will be available for free.

”Before it was typically one camera per sporting event,” Lannou said. ”Now the games will be produced with multiple cameras and full high-definition.”

Currently, about 1,800 subscribers pay for the more limited service. But the school hopes the number of subscribers grows when the upgraded service debuts Aug. 30 with the Wildcats’ volleyball home opener against Creighton. The network also will feature the Wildcats’ football season opener against Eastern Kentucky.

”We want to ensure that K-Staters anywhere in the world can watch the Wildcats, and the fact that all of our new programming will be produced in high definition will also put us in a strategic position as we continue to explore future avenues for distribution,” athletics director John Currie said in a news release.

About $400,000 has been invested in equipment for the high-definition network. Lannou said the schools journalism and mass communications department plans to take advantage of the equipment as it trains students.

”We are adding value to the university in that students are going to get experience here that they wouldn’t get anywhere else and it is going to put them right at the forefront of finding a job,” Lannou said.

He said the network also will be a major step toward a goal of moving Kansas State into the top 50 public research institutes in the country by 2025.

”The number one priority is exposure,” Lannou said. ”That is the number one goal for K-Staters anywhere in the world to be able to have a very high-level viewing experience.”