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Cablevision Bulks Up HD Slate with NBCU Channels

Cablevision is expanding its high-definition program offerings this week, adding four HD networks from NBC Universal: Bravo HD, CNBC HD+, SCI FI HD and USA HD. By the end of the week, the Bethpage, N.Y.-based cable operator will be providing 68 channels of “free HD” (as in no extra charge on top of existing standard-def packages) to customers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Bravo will be carried on Channel 745, CNBC HD+ on Ch. 771, SCI FI HD on Ch. 748, and USA HD on Ch. 738. Cablevision has more than tripled its HD lineup since the beginning of 2007, and this year employed switched-digital video transmission technology to support new HD channels in its existing network bandwidth. The company says that its HD customer base that has grown by 50% over the last year and that 1.3 million of the company’s total 2.8 million “iO TV” video customers have at least one high-definition television and HD-enabled set-top box in their home.

“Bravo, CNBC, SCI FI and USA are among the most popular channels on television and Cablevision is pleased to be able to now offer these compelling programming services to our expanding base of high definition customers at no additional charge,” said John Trierweiler, Cablevision’s senior vice president of product management, in a statement. “Truly free HD, without the extra equipment costs or programming package fees required by our competitors, is one of the key benefits of iO TV, and just another reason why customers continue to choose our superior television service.”