- Skins, Shameless and Desperate Housewives in HD
- 4HD joins Virgin Media’s HD line-up from BBC, ESPN, LIVING, FX, MTV and National Geographic
- Three HD channels launch on Virgin Media tomorrow
Virgin Media (NASDAQ: VMED) today announced that Channel 4’s High Definition (HD) channel, 4HD, will join its HD line-up. 4HD was the first full-schedule HD channel to be launched by a UK terrestrial broadcaster and offers ground-breaking programmes including Skins, Shameless and Desperate Housewives in glorious High Definition.
4HD will be available to Virgin Media’s 3.5 million digital TV customers and joins the BBC HD channel, ESPN HD, LIVING HD, FX HD, MTV Networks International’s HD channel, MTVNHD, and National Geographic HD in Virgin Media’s linear HD line-up.
FX HD, MTVNHD and National Geographic HD are launching on Virgin Media’s TV platform tomorrow. ESPN HD will launch on 3rd August, with 4HD and LIVING HD coming soon.
Mark Schweitzer, chief commercial officer at Virgin Media, said: “Channel 4 is home to some of the UK’s most talked about and innovative TV programmes with a great mix of fantastic home grown shows and top imports, and we’re delighted to be bringing them in HD to our customers. We continue to evolve our TV service, across linear TV channels and on demand content, and our growing HD line-up offers a great choice from some of the best UK and US TV series, documentaries, comedy, sport and music.”
Sarah Rose, Head of Channel Development at Channel 4, said: “We want our viewers to be able to watch their favourite Channel 4 programmes in the format they want and across multiple platforms so we’re delighted to be launching 4HD on Virgin Media. Our catch-up service, 4oD, has been a great success on Virgin Media’s TV platform and, as we continue to invest in HD production, we’re bringing more Channel 4 programmes to more viewers in HD.”
4HD is a simulcast of the core Channel 4 schedule with a proportion of programmes produced and transmitted in the HD format. Programmes currently broadcast in HD include Ugly Betty, Come Dine With Me and Shameless as well as the best documentaries, current affairs, music and film. Channel 4 is committed to increasing its investment in HD production and the proportion of its schedule transmitted in high definition over time.
4HD will be available to all of Virgin Media’s TV customers at no extra cost, alongside the BBC HD channel. Virgin Media will make its full range of HD channels available at no extra cost to its XL TV customers.
Virgin Media customers will be able to watch FX HD on Channel 158, MTVNHD on Channel 310 and National Geographic HD on Channel 232.
Virgin Media is also currently in active talks with UKTV about Good Food HD. The company also offers around 300 hours of HD content on its on demand TV platform, including BBC iPlayer in HD, around 60 HD films to choose from at any one time and a range of HD programming such as The Sopranos and Band of Brothers.
Virgin Media’s digital TV platform was recently named the top pay TV service for customer support and value for money and the joint best for overall customer satisfaction in the uSwitch Digital TV Customer Satisfaction Awards 2009.
Notes to Editors
LIVING, home to the Next Top Model franchise and cult phenomenon Most Haunted, is one of the UK’s most watched digital TV channels. LIVING HD will show some of the channel’s high-profile acquisitions to maximum effect, including Criminal Minds, Ghost Whisperer, Private Practice and CSI.
The ESPN HD channel will offer live Barclays Premier League and Clydesdale Bank Premier League football as well a wide range of international football and top quality sports. It will be available at no additional cost to Virgin Media’s XL TV customers. Sports fans on Virgin Media’s M or L pack will be able to subscribe to ESPN and ESPN HD for £8 per month if they subscribe to any combination of the Sky Sports channels or £10 per month if not.
FX HD offers a mixture of top American programming and first run drama, comedy and crime shows such as The Wire, Family Guy and the forthcoming series True Blood from the creator of Six Feet Under.
MTV Networks International’s HD channel, MTVNHD, which is dedicated to music and kids, broadcasts original music-based shows including iconic series such as MTV Unplugged and high profile live music events such as the MTV Europe Music Awards. Each Saturday and Sunday morning the channel also broadcasts a selection of Nickelodeon’s hit children’s shows such as SpongeBob SquarePants and Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.
National Geographic HD is home to some of the most engrossing documentaries available, such as Extreme Ice and Ancient Megastructures, documenting science and technology, and unravelling history and the wonders of the natural world.
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About Virgin Media
Virgin Media is the first provider of all four broadband, TV, mobile phone and home phone services in the UK.
The company’s cable network – the result of multi-billion pound private investment – delivers ultrafast broadband to over half of all UK homes, with speeds of up to 120Mb, as well as market leading connectivity to thousands of public and private sector organisations across the country.
Virgin Media has developed the most advanced interactive television service, bringing together broadcast TV, thousands of hours of on demand programming and the best of the web in a single set-top box powered by TiVo. The company was the first to offer HD TV and 3D on demand to millions of British households.
The world’s first virtual mobile network was launched by Virgin Media and it is also one of the largest fixed-line home phone providers in the country.
Virgin Media is a part of Liberty Global plc, the world’s largest broadband communications group. Together Virgin Media and Liberty Global serve 25 million customers across 14 countries, helping connect people to the digital world and enabling them to discover and experience its endless possibilities.
For more information, go to www.virginmedia.com