Dishing Out More HD Content: While DirecTV and cable rivals keep slugging it out in advertisements over who’s got better and more HD, satellite rival DISH Network just goes on its merry way, quietly layering on more HD content and maintaining the actual lead in national channels.
With the recent addition of Cinemax HD, DISH is now up to 32 full- time HD channels – including a big bunch of VOOM movie, music and special interest channels you won’t see anywhere else. By the end of the year, DISH will add another half dozen more national HD feeds, EchoStar/DISH chief executive Charlie Ergen let on last week during an investor’s call. And according to a recent report in EchoStar’s home state paper, the Denver, CO- based Rocky Mountain News, DISH plans to launch two new satellites at the end of the year to expand HD offerings in early 2008, thus fulfilling Ergen’s stated vow to remain “the HD leader.”
The field of channel candidates for likely carriage just keeps growing. Newly announced are HD feeds of Starz Comedy, Starz Edge and Starz Kids & Family, all planned to launch by the end of the summer.
In September, Showtime is launching Smithsonian Networks HD, while A&E Networks is launching a similarly programmed History Channel HD and A&E HD. According to TV Week, the latter two will definitely be carried from day one on DirecTV.