Sky Italia is to add an additional 13 high definition channels to its programming packages from February 1, bringing the total number of channels broadcast in the format to 52.
The satcaster said that over 70% of its 5 million strong installed-base now subscribe to the HD pack.
The 13 new channels are MTV Live HD, Extreme Sports Channel, Fox Life, Real Time, Eurosport 2, ESPN America, Discovery Science, Discovery Travel & Living, History, Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Adventure, Gambero Rosso and Disney Channel.
Murray Barnett, vice president, sports channels and syndication, ESPN – Europe, Middle East and Africa said, “Both Sky and ESPN have been pioneers in high definition television and other television technologies. This agreement continues to expand how we serve fans in Italy with the very best sports events and television experience. ESPN America viewers can look forward to dynamic HD quality coverage of all the top sport direct from the US.” The HD version of ESPN America is already broadcast in the UK and Germany.
Another sports network to be added to the bouquet is the Extreme Sports Channel, which promiseschannel favourites Mantracker, Fantasy Factory and Dew Tour all in the HD format.
“Extreme Sports Channel’s globe-trotting challenges, exhilarating documentaries and action sports championships are perfect content for HD viewing,” said Louise Cottrell, Chello Zone’s VP Affiliate Sales. “We’re looking forward to working with Sky to launch the Extreme Sports Channel brand in Italy as part of their Entertainment package, and expect the new high definition feed to roll out across the rest of EMEA in the coming months.”
Sky Italia’s first HD broadcast was made in 2006 with the Champions League final match between Arsenal and Barcelona.