BBC expands free-to-air HD portfolio
Editor | 16-07-2013
Three years after it first launched such services, the BBC is to add five new subscription-free high-definition channels.
Broadcasting the same programmes as their standard definition equivalents, BBC News HD, BBC Three HD, BBC Four HD, CBeebies HD and CBBC HD are set to launch by early 2014 and are to be offered to all UK digital television platforms that carry HD channels.
The move means that the BBC will add more than 250 hours of programmes per week to its HD portfolio. The majority of HD programmes from the new launches will also be available to watch on-demand via the iPlayer.
The five new HD channels will be broadcast on satellite, covering approximately 99% of UK homes from launch and digital terrestrial television that is Freeview HD and YouView. BBC Three HD and CBBC HD will use capacity on the BBC’s existing HD multiplex, which has 98.5% coverage of UK homes. BBC News HD, BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD will use new HD capacity, which will cover part of the UK and grow in coverage over time. The five new HD channels will also be offered to TV platform operators that run their own networks, such as cable TV and IPTV operators.
Commented BBC Director General, Tony Hall: “BBC One HD and BBC Two HD have already proved to be highly valued by our audiences and I’m delighted that we’re able to follow this with the launch of five new subscription-free BBC HD channels by early 2014. These new channels will allow us to showcase more of our programming at its very best.”