03.08.2006 12:00 AM
Dish Launches Local HD in More Markets
Dish has now begun providing satellite coverage of local HD broadcast channels in Albuquerque, Atlanta, Boston, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City and Washington, D.C. To date, Dish now offers local HD channels in a dozen cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Nashville and Denver. In each new market, Dish is providing its subs a local HD tier (typically at $5 a month), which consists of the affiliates of the four major commercial broadcast networks.

However, in the Denver region, where Dish penetration includes more than 60 surrounding counties, the new entries include only ABC (KMGH), CBS (KCNC) and Fox (KDVR). NBC affiliate KUSA, a Gannett outlet that has been a Peacock affiliate for about a decade, is carried only in SD by Dish, awaiting HD carriage agreements between both parties. KUSA was an early HD adopter and among the first local broadcasters to equip its traffic helicopter with HD cameras.

Dish, which is also starting to offer local HD channels for its subs in parts of Wyoming and Nebraska, has been running full-page ads in publications around the U.S. saying it now offers more than twice as many national HD channels as the unnamed competition. Dish now offers 25 HD channels (including local HD stations) -- which are about twice as many as Comcast, Cox, Time Warner and other MSOs, depending on location.

The DBS firm said its DishHD packages now provide its subs more than 1,700 hours of weekly HD programming (including broadcast prime time).

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