Some further confirmation has appeared that Virgin Media will be adding further HD channels to their service this year.
The original confirmation was last month when Neil Berkett (Virgin Media Chief Executive) said they’d “be launching as many as six high-definition channels in the third quarter”.
The latest confirmation that more HD channels are coming is on an official website setup by Virgin Media called “We Hear You”. It says “lots of you were unhappy with the amount of HD channels available on Virgin Media TV” and they’re “launching more HD channels later this year”. Click here to visit the “We Hear You” website.
It’s also been confirmed an HD version of Living will launch later this year. Broadcast Now reports “Virgin Media will roll out an HD version of Living this year as part of a cross-platform strategy to boost the channel’s brand”. Read more at Broadcast Now.
The red button interactive services and holding screen for the BBC World Service radio station on Freeview have been revamped to match the way the other BBC radio stations look on Freeview. A post on the BBC Press Red blog says “For years, this was all the visualisation possible within our meagre bandwidth allocation. But thanks to a recent reshuffle of services on the digital television multiplexes, we can extend the full Red Button radio interface to listeners of the BBC World Service in the UK – around one and a half million of them at the last count”. Read more on the BBC Press Red blog.
According to reports, ITV are considering making their digital channels into subscription-only offerings.
The Guardian says “ITV has held talks with BSkyB about switching its advertiser-funded free-to-air digital channels such as ITV2 to subscription, meaning they would no longer be available to Freeview viewers”. It’s being considered due to the downturn in advertising revenue recently. This would mean ITV channels would be pulled from Freeview where they currently are free-to-air if they decide to go ahead with the subscription-only strategy.Click here to read more on The Guardian website.
Struggling sports broadcaster Setanta Sports may have been saved from going into administration following an offer by an American billionaire to take 51% of shares in Setanta for £20 million. If they accept the offer they will be safe. Setanta Sports have not been accepting any new subscribers and currently is said to owe money for SPL and Premier League coverage. Click here to read more at Digital Spy. Setanta Sports is available on Digital Terrestrial via subscription, on Virgin Media and Sky.
Five has one won of the slots up for grabs on Freeview for high definition broadcasts. Five are planning to simulcast their main channel in HD on Freeview and any standard definition programmes are thought to be carried at SD quality on the new stream. Five HD should launch on Freeview by late 2010.