DirecTV Adds More HD Channels

On its march toward 100 HD channels by the end of the year, DirecTV added several new national channels and regional sports networks to its lineup.

The company has been adding new channels in spurts over the past two months. The latest batch includes national HD networks MTV HD, VH1 HD, Spike HD, Nickelodeon HD and CMT HD. Bio HD will be added at the end of the month.

“The addition of MTV Networks’ popular channels to our HD platform makes DirecTV the only television-service provider to offer multiple HD feeds from all major programming providers,” DirecTV executive vice president of content strategy and development Derek Chang said in a statement.

The regional sports networks the company is adding include Altitude Sports & Entertainment, Comcast SportsNet New England, FSN Arizona, FSN Bay Area, FSN Cincinnati, FSN Florida, FSN Midwest, FSN North, FSN Northwest, FSN Ohio, FSN Pittsburgh, FSN Rocky Mountain, FSN South, SportSouth and Sun Sports.

The company also launched five new HD pay-per-view channels.

DirecTV is focusing on expanding its HD programming as a competitive differentiator to the cable companies. At the beginning of the year, the satellite-TV provider announced that it would have capacity to carry 100 linear HD channels by year-end. This summer, it launched a new satellite that would provide that capacity, and it expects to launch another satellite in early 2008 to give it the capacity to offer 150 HD channels by the end of next year.