To the Editor: Shirley Brady’s stories on INHD and HDNet (April 19) explains exactly what we already know. As far as HDNet’s long-term commitment, funding is not an issue. The money is there. We have no plans to push price points for rights up, but we have the same options as any existing cable network. We can work with the major networks and write the check for off-net runs. We can work with studios like Lions Gate and WB to create original programming like The Dead Zone. We have created HDNet Films, and are working with leading directors like Steven Soderbergh to create movies shot in HD, exclusively for HDNet Movies that we will show in Landmark Theaters, which we also own. Just as importantly, we already are spending far more than any other cable network our size or age in creating our own original programming internally. One of the reasons we have been able to get the carriage that we have is that our partners have been very happy with our internally developed original programming. If you don’t have HDNet at home, you probably have no idea that we produce and show 15-to-20 hours of new programming every week. As far as negotiating leverage, whatever leverage networks have today to package their HD feed will disappear along with bandwidth. The leverage will flip to the distributor as they inform networks that they have no need for all of their channels. What is the point of giving a network that has minimal content originated in HD or film valuable bandwidth? Their last hope for leverage will come in the negotiations to give up analog slots on cable. It will be a devil’s bargain. Give up being able to say you are in front of 88 million homes and the advertising dollars they represent to get that HD slot, or lose the HD slot and hold on for dear life to 88 million homes as homes go digital. HDNet is in this for the long haul. We know that HD got us in the game, but that to reach our goals, we have to continue creating programming viewers love, and to get the numbers advertisers want. We will. Mark Cuban
President and CEO
HDNet
Dallas To the Editor: With regard to your editor’s letter, "Cable’s Badge of Honor" (March 22), I am concerned that the medium and the channel capacities for public affairs programming, specifically cable’s niche programming productions, aren’t being used to their fullest extent possible. We need to find a way to increase and establish more creative ways to truly make local cable programming local, which would be a win-win-win for local government, cable operators/programmers and the public. You mention that "all local regulators should be made aware of these shows." My question to cable networks: Can local government channels have the ability to carry these cable network/programmer-produced programs as a public service and in partnership with the cable television industry? As a way to differentiate local cable from DBS, you write: "Cable systems should be arranging presentations of these shows in their communities." Wouldn’t the use of channels already in partnership with local cable—the local government channel—be the most cost-effective and efficient method to get these programs into the homes of citizens? Can we use cable’s top 10 public affairs shows on our channel here in Pierce County, Wash.? Can we take the honored CTPAA-winning programming and re-cablecast these shows as a public service to our citizens and show them how the cable industry is enhancing public service and working on solutions to these local issues? Marc Pease
Director
Rainier Media Center/CRCC
Pierce County, Wash.

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