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Verizon Expands HD Slate with Discovery, More on the Way

Verizon Communications is adding Discovery Channel HD to its FiOS TV HD package and plans to add other networks out of Discovery Networks’ portfolio in 2008.

In its march toward adding 150 HD channels by the end of 2008, Verizon added Discovery Channel HD across all its markets on channel 846. The company will also add other channels from under the Discovery umbrella in 2008, including TLC, Animal Planet and The Science Channel.

The addition of those channels will be part of a major HD rollout the telco is planning for spring 2008. Last week, the company announced that it will begin offering more than 60 HD channels on a market-by-market basis next spring with a target of 150 by the end of next year. The announcement was the first direct challenge to DirecTV’s claim of offering the same number by the end of next year.

Cable operators have relied on their abundant video-on-demand offerings to counter DirecTV’s capacity to deliver an abundance of linear HD channels. Verizon also plans to boost its number of HD titles on-demand, estimating that 1,000 will be available by the end of next year.