America’s Fox Television Network intends to broadcast at least half its prime-time line-up in high-definition digital TV by fall next year.

The move was announced in a letter to regulators from Peter Chernin, president of Fox’s owner News Corporation. Chernon declared that HDTV broadcasts would commence either late this year or early next and that the necessary equipment would be installed at Fox and its affiliates by fall 2004.

HDTV is the highest-quality digital TV broadcast available. At present, Fox sends digital signals to affiliates in a lower-quality format.

Fox had previously resisted the transition, calling for a procedure to prevent piracy first. The decision to make the change brings the broadcaster into line with its rival networks – ABC, CBS and NBC all transmit at least some of their schedules in HDTV.

Data sourced from: New York Times; additional content by WARC staff