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HD Channels Expand

11 Oct, 2007 By: Chris Tribbey

Is nearly 1,000 high-definition TV channels by the end of 2008 a pie-in-the-sky idea? Maybe, but some of the promises of high-def service providers are coming true.

There are roughly 60 high-def channels currently available, according to Nielsen. By the end of the year, there should be more than 100. And at the DVD Forum's North America DVD Conference in Universal City, Calif., even more were announced.

Bryan Burns, VP of strategic business planning and development for ESPN, said the sports' company's 24-hour news channel will go high-def next spring.

“HD service is the single biggest marketing projection we have these days,” Burns said after showing off previews of ESPN News HD and commercials shot in high-def.

It makes sense for even the sports news channel to go HD: Nielsen data shows sports is the top thing HD subscribers watch, at 43%. Movies come in a close second.

Other channels owned by parent company Disney, including ABC Family, the Disney Channel and Toon Disney will all be available in high-def next year, Burns said.

“There's a lot of money to be made,” Burns said. “We're in the first quarter, not the fourth.”

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