Virgin expands HD portfolio

By Julian Clover
February 10, 2010 10.33 UK

Virgin Media is making progress towards a potential 30 high definition channels before the end of 2010. The cablenet is adding Discovery Channel and Eurosport HD and has plans to expand its HD on demand offer.

The two new entrants are expected to join the existing line-up in the spring. The HD bouquet currently includes BBC HD, Channel 4, ESPN, FX, MTV Networks, National Geographic and Living. Subscribers are not charged a separate fee for HD itself, but reception requires the V+ personal video recorder, which itself attracts a monthly £5 (€5.7) premium.

Cindy Rose, executive director of digital entertainment at Virgin Media, said Discovery would make a compelling addition to the HD line-up. “We’re adding several more HD channels in the coming months, which we will make available to our XL TV customers for no extra monthly fee.”

Capacity is being made available through the switch-off of Virgin’s remaining analogue channels, which is expected to take place by the summer. Chief executive Neil Berkett has previously indicated that this will allow the cablenet to offer a total between 20 and 30 HD channels.