Discovery Plans More HD Channels

May 10, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Discovery Networks is planning to launch four new HD channels this fall and two more by first quarter of 2008.
Animal Planet, TLC, the Science Channel and its main network, Discovery Channel, will all be available in HD in the fall. The company declined comment on the other two channels.
With the success of Discovery HD Theater, which launched five years ago, and HDTV’s being in an estimated 30 million U.S. homes, the network understands the need to offer more HD programming. “We have to drive ourselves toward really becoming a new-media company with all that entails rather than just sitting back and continuing on as a traditional cable company,” Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav said in recent published reports. “HD is the new analog tier.”
Jupiter Research analyst Todd Chanko agrees but notes that there’s more to the success of an HD network than just the programming. “Discovery’s programming is a natural for HD but the network still needs to convince distributors of the overall value proposition,” he said. “Additionally, convincing advertisers to migrate to HD is still somewhat of an uphill battle.”
Over the last few months, the network has been shooting all original content in high definition and has begun the tedious task of up-converting its archives.
HD channels will also be available in Discovery’s international markets.


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