Channel to launch to 1.6 million Sky homes in time for Christmas
E4 HD, Channel 4’s second dedicated HD (high definition) channel, is to launch on the 14th December on Sky’s HD service, Sky+HD. A simulcast of E4, the channel will provide access to a wide range of hits series such as Glee, Misfits, Hollyoaks and Peep Show, many of which will be available to UK and Irish viewers in HD for the first time.
The multi-year deal will see E4 HD incorporated into Sky’s HD Pack and brings the total number of HD channels available through Sky+HD to 36. E4 HD will be located at channel number 215 on the Sky electronic programme guide.
Sarah Rose, Head of Channel Development at Channel 4, said: “The growing appetite for HD across the UK and Ireland is clear to see. We were quick to respond to this demand in launching Channel 4 HD, and with the launch of E4 HD we look forward to delivering our viewers even more of the shows they love in stunning high definition.”
Hilary Perchard, Sky’s Director of Product Management, adds: “We’re delighted to welcome E4 HD and another quality HD schedule to Sky. We’ve never seen higher demand for Sky+HD and this is a response to delivering customers a high-quality and wide-ranging selection of subscription HD programming. Incorporating an increasingly diverse mix of the channels and programmes our customers love, Sky continues to extend its HD leadership.”
1.6 million Sky+HD homes can currently choose from 35 HD channels spanning entertainment, sports, movies, arts, drama, kids and documentaries, including channel brands such as Sky Sports, Sky Movies, FX, Discovery, Channel 4, Sky Arts, MTV, Nat Geo, ESPN, Disney, the BBC and Sky1.
Sky recently confirmed that its Sky+HD set-top boxes will offer both a comprehensive ‘pull’ video-on-demand service from 2010, to provide customers with additional choice and control to complement Sky+ and the current Sky Anytime ‘push’ VOD service. Next year will also see the launch of 3D TV services through the Sky+HD platform.
To access the new E4 HD channel, Sky customers in the UK and Ireland will require a Sky+HD box, an HD ready TV and a subscription to the HD channel pack.
About Channel 4
Channel 4 is a public service broadcaster funded solely from commercial revenues. It receives free spectrum in return for fulfilling its public service obligations as set out in the 1990 and 1996 Broadcasting Acts and its licence, issued by Ofcom, which was last updated in December 2004.
The channel’s licence obligations include annual quotas on original, independent and regional production and weekly quotas governing news and current affairs and schools programmes. Year-to-date in 2009, Channel 4 has a 7.5% share of the total TV audience.
Channel 4’s portfolio of digital channels (E4, More4, Film4, and 4Music) are distributed on the UK’s main digital TV platforms. Channel 4 offers time-shifted +1 services of all its wholly owned TV channels.
Channel 4 offers a free catch-up and archive service for its commissioned output and some acquired programmes via 4oD which is accessible via channel4.com, YouTube and to Virgin Media subscribers.
Sky operates the most comprehensive multichannel, multi-platform television service in the UK and Ireland. Over 9.5 million homes enjoy an unprecedented choice of movies, news, entertainment and sports channels. Sky continues to break new ground with its own portfolio of channels: Sky1 combines its commitment to UK production with the best of the US; Sky Arts continues to embrace new audiences as the UK’s only dedicated arts channel brand; Sky Sports is still raising the bar in sports broadcasting; and Sky News remains a pioneer in multiplatform television news.
Almost 6 million Sky homes now enjoy the control and flexibility of Sky+ and 1.6 million homes have already joined Sky+HD, which provides access to 35 dedicated HD channels. Sky is also the UK’s fastest growing broadband and fixed-telephony provider.
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