Virgin Media lines up further HD entertainment
Virgin Media has struck a deal with Channel 4 that enables them to offer a selection of Channel 4 programming in HD via their TV on demand service.
Virgin customers can already catch up on Channel 4 shows free of charge for up to seven days post transmission, plus access a library of hundreds of hours of their best library programmes and watch the latest US dramas and comedies on a pay per view basis, via the 4oD service. Now a selection of these shows will also be available in HD format.
The deal also gives Virgin Media the option of carrying the soon-to-be-launched C4HD linear channel.
The company's on-demand library already includes HD assets from content partners including FilmFlex, the BBC and History Channel.
Malcolm Wall, Virgin Media's CEO for Content, said: “We are delighted to be adding Channel 4 content to our growing line up of high definition programming. Virgin Media is at the forefront of technology advances in television and is not only offering its customers higher quality pictures in HD, but also the ability to watch what they want when they want it via the on demand service."
“Demand for HD is increasing, and befitting our ambition for viewers to be able to access our programming when they want it and in a format of their choice, it's important for us to be meeting this demand wherever we can. We are delighted that HD versions of some of our shows will be available to Virgin TV on demand users and look forward to increasing the amount of HD programming in our schedule over time” added Sarah Rose, Head of Video on Demand and Channel Development, Channel 4.
Source: Virgin Press Release, October 2007
Of course, the C4 HD channel has still yet to appear, and C4 HD content in TV Choice On Demand has been noticeable by its absence too - a smattering of US import content at 99p per programmes for a few weeks last Autumn then nothing whatsoever.
To date the C4 high definition offering has been so weak it has been difficult to get enthusiastic about it. But over the last couple of months it has improved and will be even more desirable when C4 does its seasonal film bonanza over the Christmas season. So come on Virgin; you announced the commercial deal was completed ages ago, now give us what you promised in 2007 and let your high paying, HD-starved customers have something early this Christmas!