Five and Sky today announced the launch this Summer of Five HD, a high definition version (HD) of Five which will show programming that has been made in HD. Five HD will start broadcasting to more than 2 million Sky+HD homes in July.
The public service broadcaster’s line-up lends itself to transmission in HD with top-rating US dramas such as CSI and FlashForward, popular soaps including Neighbours and Home & Away, international cricket and live Europa League football, as well as blockbuster movies.
With the addition of Five HD, Sky customers will enjoy the largest range of HD programming across both for free-to-air and pay television. With access to HD channels from all UK terrestrial broadcasters, and the widest variety of high-quality pay TV channels from Sky and other leading channel brands, Sky continues its commitment to offering homes the widest HD choice anywhere in the UK.
Five becomes the 42nd channel to commit to joining Sky’s HD line-up, following news that ITV 1HD, Sky News HD, Sky Sports HD 4 and Hallmark Channel HD are all to launch in the months ahead. Sky is aiming to have 50 HD channels by Christmas.
Charles Constable, Five’s Director of Strategy, said: "This is an exciting opportunity for Five. Our programme schedule is more suited to HD than that any other major free-to-air commercial broadcaster given the wide range of high quality series we broadcast, such as our top-rated line-up of US dramas. We’re delighted to begin our HD journey with Sky.“
Hilary Perchard, Sky’s Director of Product Management, comments: “We’re delighted to announce the addition of Five HD to Sky+HD, the UK’s leading high definition service. Sky remains committed to delivering customers the best HD service available, and this means continuing to launch high-quality channels right across the schedule. With the best of free and pay TV now in HD, there’s never been a better time to embrace HD.”
As Europe’s most comprehensive HD service, 2.1 million Sky+HD homes can currently access up to 37 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 standardised its set-top strategy by automatically offering a Sky+HD box to anyone joining Sky TV, and all new and existing customers can receive the box for free when subscribing to the Sky+HD channel pack for the first time. The Sky+HD box not only provides access to Europe’s most comprehensive HD service and Sky’s new HD electronic programme guide (EPG), but later this year it will also offer customers access to full broadband-enabled video-on-demand service and Sky 3D, Europe’s first 3D TV channel. Sky intends to launch Sky 3D to pubs and clubs in April before reaching residential homes later this year.
Notes to editors
Five HD will be available without additional subscription to viewers with Sky+HD boxes, a Sky viewing card and an HD-ready television set.
Sky operates the most comprehensive multichannel, multi-platform television service in the UK and Ireland. Over 9.7 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 6.5 million Sky homes now enjoy the control and flexibility of Sky+ and 2.1 million homes have already joined Sky+HD, which provides access up to 37 dedicated HD channels and future innovative services such broadband-enabled video-on-demand and 3D TV.
Sky has also been the UK’s fastest growing broadband and fixed-telephony provider for the last two years.
Five (Channel 5 Broadcasting Ltd.) is a commercially-funded UK public service television broadcaster. Launched in 1997, it is owned by RTL Group, the leading European entertainment network with 45 television stations and 31 radio stations in 11 countries and a worldwide production arm, FremantleMedia.
For further information:
Head of Communications, Commercial, BSkyB
Head of Press, Five