DirecTV to launch new HD package

DirecTV will launch a new HD programming package on July 1 that will include ESPN HD, Discovery HD Theater, HDNet and HDNet Movies. Cost is $10.99 per month.

The service will also provide special events broadcast in HD, similar to such past events as USA's coverage of the Masters Tournament, NBA games and NBA TV programming blocks.

Key elements of the HD package will include:

ESPN HD—A 24/7 HD simulcast service of ESPN that delivers sports events, news and information and entertainment, including games from MLB, the NBA, the NFL and the NHL.

Discovery HD Theater — Discovery HD Theater is a new 24/7 channel with programming entirely in HD. The channel’s programs are about nature, science and technology, geography, travel and world culture.

HDNet— A 24/7 network featuring live sports such as NHL and MLS games, boxing, drama series, concerts and original news and documentary programming including HDNet World Report and Across America.

HDNet Movies—24/7 schedule of movie titles from Warner Brothers., Sony, and other major studios, as well as made-for-TV movies , independent films and shorts.

With the addition of the HD package, DirecTV will offer seven HD channels to its more than 11.4 million customers nationwide. Customers are currently receiving HBO HDTV and SHOWTIME HDTV as part of their premium packages, as well as HD PPV movies for $4.99 each. In addition, under terms of its new five-year agreement with the NFL for exclusive rights to NFL Sunday Ticket, DirecTV also plans to begin offering HD telecasts of professional football games during the 2003 regular NFL season.

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