News

‘My HD Package Is Bigger’

4/26/2010 12:01 AM Eastern

When it comes to high-definition
channel lineups, size evidently does matter.

Satellite-TV rivals DirecTV and Dish Network,
immediately after settling false-advertising
lawsuits they had flung at each other,
last week re-engaged in a marketing feud
over which of them offers the most HD.

Dish Network dubiously claimed to be the
first pay TV operator to offer 200 national highdefinition
channels. However, 57 of those
“channels” are in fact HD video-on-demand
selections available only to Dish customers
with the recently introduced ViP 922 digital
video recorder, the company confirmed.

The next day, DirecTV countered with a
boast that it still owns the HD crown. The No. 1
satellite operator said it will bring its “full-time”
HD lineup to more than 160 in the next few
months, adding more than 30 channels, and
took a swipe at Dish’s purported 200 HDs.

“While Dish Network is very skilled at
grossly inflating their HD numbers, you’d be
hard-pressed to find an actual list of comprehensive
HD channels that match their recent
claims,” DirecTV executive vice president of
content strategy and development Derek
Chang said in a statement.

Dish did, in fact, add eight linear HD
channels: Epix HD — the movie service
from Lionsgate, MGM and Paramount Pictures,
available as part of the PlatinumHD
tier for $10 extra per month — as well as G4
HD, Headline News HD, History International
HD, Nat Geo Wild HD, ShortsHD, Style HD
and Turner Classic Movies HD.

DirecTV plans to add 21 HD networks, including
Lifetime HD, Travel Channel HD,
MSNBC HD, ESPNU HD, Hallmark Channel
HD, Showtime Beyond HD, Starz Cinema
HD, Univision HD East and WGN HD.
The operator also said it would add a number
of new DirecTV Cinema pay-per-view
HD channels over the next few months.

DirecTV also plans to launch four 3DTV
channels in June: ESPN 3D; N3D, sponsored
for 12 months by Panasonic; a 3D DirecTV
Cinema channel; and a 3D DirecTV on-demand
channel.

For more than a year, DirecTV and Dish
Network have been duking it out in a pitched
marketing war, which culminated in a falseadvertising
suit DirecTV fired off against Dish
in February. Dish responded with a countersuit
alleging DirecTV made misleading ad claims of
its own. The two companies settled out of court
in early April; terms were not disclosed.

September