DirecTV Lures More Channels With HD Promises

As DirecTV looks toward a ballyhooed 100 HD channels by the end of the year, it has a deal to launch simulcasts of four Discovery channels in high-def, including the flagship and TLC.

The satellite provider also said it has a deal with Disney Channel to air the HD debut of this summer's highly anticipated "High School Musical 2." The HD version will come several days after the Aug. 17 premiere.

It's important to note that DirecTV will have the capacity for up to 100 HD channels in 2007, but may not deliver that number. One blogger suggested that DirecTV could make the claim by offering 100 streams, but with limited hours of programming on some.

The satellite provider also said Wednesday that it will add HD channels from Starz and NBC Universal (CNBC and horror channel Chiller). It says its HD customers have doubled in the last year, and soon-to-be controlling executive John Malone said recently that it will make an industry-leading HD line-up a primary differentiation point.

The Discovery simulcasts coming in September also include Animal Planet and Science Channel, with two additional channels to be named and launched later.

As DirecTV moves to meet its projection--so far, it has lined up an announced 34--it continues to cut deals with networks to make their initial forays into HD programming. Recent arrivals are the History Channel and A&E.



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