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Travel Channel Commits to Hi-Def

HD Simulcast Set to Launch in First Quarter

Travel Channel will be launching a high-definition simulcast in the first quarter of 2008, the network said.

“HD is part of the proposition for doing business now,” said Pat Younge, president and general manager of Travel Channel. “Research has shown that consumers want to see travel in high definition.”

Nearly 95 percent of next year’s schedule has been commissioned in high def, Mr. Younge said. New episodes of current shows on the Travel Channel lineup as well as new series will be shot in pure high definition, while previous episodes of existing series will be upconverted.

The network would not offer further details about new projects.

The Travel Channel, which tends to work with outside production companies for programming, has made it a point to stress the importance of shooting in high definition.

“HD is the price for doing business now with the Travel Channel,” said James Ashurst, a spokesman for Travel Channel. “If you want to film with us, you have to film in HD.”

Previously, Discovery HD Theater, where Mr. Younge also served as general manager, would air Travel Channel programs in high definition. However, since Cox Communications recently took over full ownership of Travel Channel, previously owned by Discovery Communications, Travel Channel will no longer be airing its content on Discovery HD Theater.

As a result of the new ownership, Travel Channel HD will be in high-def carriage negotiations by itself, as it will be competing for the same HD spots as Discovery’s channels.

The Travel Channel HD will be airing such series as “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations,” “Into Alaska With Jeff Corwin” and “Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern.”

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