DirecTV Continues Local HD Penetration

As part of its roll out of local HD stations to consumers, DBS firm DirecTV has designated its next 14 U.S. markets where it will offer programming by the end of 2006. With the latest inclusion, DirecTV will be offering local HD in 50 major metro areas, which it said will represent more than two-thirds of all U.S. households. The latest rollout is scheduled to begin in late summer.

Local HD affiliates of ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC will be available to DirecTV subs who subscribe to its Total Choice program package, which includes local analog channels. There will be no additional charge for local HD channels.

The 14 markets include:
Madison, Wis.
Austin, Texas
Memphis, Tenn.
Albuquerque, N.M.
Portland, Maine
Grand Rapids, Mich.
Portland, Ore.
Green Bay, Wis.
Providence, R.I.
Greensboro, N.C.
Reno, Nev.
Las Vegas
San Antonio

DirecTV now offers local SD channels in 142 markets, as well as 20 markets with local HD: Atlanta; Birmingham; Boston; Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas-Ft. Worth; Detroit; Houston; Kansas City; Los Angeles; St. Paul/Minneapolis; Nashville; New York; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Sacramento; San Diego; San Francisco; Tampa; and Washington, D.C. By this summer, the DBS firm will have activated local HD outlets in 16 more DMAs (previously announced), representing 58 percent of households.

The DBS company said its subs are being encouraged to purchase the H20 HD receiver and a dish, which has the ability to receive signals from five different orbital locations.