NESN HD also wants the same policy has HDnet, no down converting according to a buddy who works there.
Comcast won't even give NESN HD a full time channel even though they have at least 10hr a day in HD on game days. Comcast didn't even help buying equipment. EMC is the one who started to help in 2004, and even help convert all tapes to digital storage.
Look at FSN New England, Rainbow Media spent a bunch of money to do almost every Celtics home game in HD, and Comcast only carried 60% of them even if the Bruins or Sox preseason didn’t have a game.