As a postscript to this, BSkyB said today that as well as ITV1 HD there would also be high-definition channel launches for Hallmark and Sky Sports 4 on its digital satellite service. Sky has now passed 40 channels in HD on its service and has targeted 50 by Christmas.LONDON, Mar 12, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Virgin Media's (NASDAQ:VMED)(LSE:VMED) digital TV customers will be able to enjoy football's World Cup in full High Definition (HD) glory as the ITV1 HD channel joins the company's TV line-up on April 2nd. ITV1 HD will offer a range of High Definition programming, with upcoming highlights including the UEFA Champions League, The FA Cup, and England internationals; HD dramas including Father & Son, Identity, The Prisoner, Foyles War and Lewis; factual programming including Joanna Lumley's Nile, Greatest Cities of the World with Griff Rhys Jones, and the brand new Survival with Ray Mears. In entertainment there are new programmes, The Whole 19 Yards and 71 Degrees North, and the return of Soccer Aid and the UK's biggest TV show, Britain's Got Talent.
ITV1 HD comes to Virgin Media in AprilAdds to growing HD channel line-up from Virgin Media
Cindy Rose, executive director of digital entertainment at Virgin Media, said: "ITV offers some of the UK's most loved programmes and we're delighted to add them to our growing HD channel line-up. This year's World Cup promises some unforgettable games and Virgin Media TV viewers will be able to enjoy every nail-biting, heart-stopping, breath-taking moment in stunning High Definition."
Virgin Media's TV customers will be able to watch all of this summer's football World Cup in HD with all matches shown on ITV1 HD or the BBC's HD channel. Both channels are available on Virgin Media's digital TV platform and included in all of Virgin Media's TV packages at no extra cost.
Peter Fincham, ITV Director of Television, Channels and Online, said: "The availability of High Definition content is something viewers have come to expect as standard and, as we approach the 2010 World Cup, I'm delighted that we are able to launch our new channel, ITV1 HD, on Virgin Media. All of our output will benefit from the stunning picture quality that High Definition offers, whether it's ITV's original drama, landmark factual shows, entertainment events or our live football."
Some of ITV1's HD content will also be available on demand via ITV Net Player on Virgin Media's TV platform. The popular TV on demand service saw over eight million views of ITV content in January alone.
Virgin Media continues to grow its HD line-up with HD channels from the BBC and Channel 4 available to all Virgin TV customers, while those from ESPN, FX, MTV Networks, National Geographic and LIVING (a Virgin Media exclusive) are included within the 'XL' TV package for no extra charge. Forthcoming HD channels from Eurosport, Discovery and E4 will be added to the 'XL' tier this spring, while Film4 HD (another Virgin Media exclusive) will be made available within all paid-for TV tiers.
This is the fifth new HD channel Virgin Media has announced this year and the company plans to reveal more details about further launches in the coming months.
Hallmark Channel HD, which will launch on 28 June, Sky Sports HD 4 will launch on 29 April. I'm struggling to see what other UK channels can go HD for Sky to hit 50. More4, BBC channels proper, Five...there isn't that much HD content to go around.