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Europe: Swiss to Open 'Shared' HD Channel for Now

SRG SSR, a Swiss public broadcaster, plans to begin a "shared" HD channel by no later than the end of 2007--still in plenty of time for high-definition coverage of the Euro 2008 championship of football (soccer) being held in Switzerland and Austria. The broadcaster said the new HD venue primarily will provide sports, movies and special features in three languages simultaneously: French, German and Italian.

The Swiss broadcaster still plans to have two SRG SSR channels airing everything in HD no later than 2012, although the original plan had been to ramp up full-time HD broadcasts by 2010. But the broadcaster had said financial limitations on the switchover would be delayed for about two years, according to Broadband TV News.

SRG SSR previously reported a $20.5 million deficit for the past year, largely due to high costs involved with the recent Olympic Winter Games and 2006 World Cup coverage, as well as some other digital switchovers not directly involving HD.