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SportsNet's fresh look

Comcast SportsNet is kicking off its fifth anniversary this week with a new graphic look and new studios, all part of a birthday celebration that will culminate next January with the launch of Comcast SportsNet HD.

"We've used the same graphics and music for five years. It was dated and needed to be refreshed," says President and CEO Jack Williams. "When we came on the air, we wanted to be ahead of our time, and what we're hoping is that our new graphics packages will help us do that again."

Philadelphia graphics and post-production facility Shooters helped with the design.

The network also has three new sets and a fourth under construction. Studio productions won't be part of the network's initial HD efforts, which will offer more than 200 events in high-definition in the first year (100 games each for the Philadelphia and Baltimore markets).

"The move to HD is coming along," he says. "We're on schedule for a mid- to late-January launch."

A new production truck will feature 11 HDTV cameras and will also be capable of producing 5.1-channel surround mixes of the action. An AMS Neve Libra Live Series II console will be used for those duties.