DirecTV Launches 21 HD Channels
Satellite-TV Provider Rolling Toward 100 HD Channels by Year-End
By Jon Hemingway -- Broadcasting & Cable, 9/26/2007 7:52:00 AM
On its way to offering 100 high-definition channels by the end of the year, DirecTV rolled out 21 new HD channels Wednesday.
The much-anticipated launch included HD channels for A&E Network, Animal Planet, CNN, Discovery Channel, The History Channel, NFL Network, Showtime West, Sho Too, Smithsonian Channel, Starz, Starz Comedy, Starz Edge, Starz Kids & Family, TBS, The Movie Channel, The Science Channel, The Weather Channel, TLC, Versus and The Golf Channel.
DirecTV is pushing its HD offerings as a differentiator to its cable competitors. Earlier this year, the company launched a new satellite, DirecTV 10, which would help to deliver the planned 100-channel expansion by year-end. Another satellite launch is planned for early 2008 that will enable DirecTV to increase channel capacity to 150.
The planned October channel rollout will include Bravo, Cartoon Network, Cinemax East and West, CNBC, Food Network, Fox Business News, FX, HBO, Home & Garden Television, MGM, National Geographic Channel, Sci Fi Channel, Speed Channel and USA Network.
By the end of this year, DirecTV will also add Biography Channel, Country Music Television, MTV, Nickelodeon, Spike TV, VH1, CSTV and The Tennis Channel.
Pricing for HD Access remains $9.99 per month regardless of the amount of additional programming. However, DirecTV plans to offer an HD-Extra tier for an additional $4.99 that will feature HD-only channels, or those that do not have standard-definition counterparts, to save Access customers incremental costs of carrying these channels.
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