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Europe: Telefonica, Canal AD Team Up on HD

Telefonica Servicios Audiovisuales said it will acquire and help produce content for Canal AD, the first HD channel to be produced in Spain. The service was soft-launched last December.

Canal AD will obtain carriage in a recent deal with satellite firm Hispasat 1C, which reportedly has a footprint that blankets Spain, Portugal and much of the rest of Europe. The HD venue can be viewed for free by a subscriber who owns an HD-ready set and buys a satellite dish and $400 decoder.

BSkyB in the U.K. and other satellite and cable systems already are introducing HD services as one way to distinguish themselves from some competitors. The high cost of HD transmission in Spain has big bandwidth requirements and the high cost of transmissions has held up HD's spread across the nation. Meanwhile, TSA is talking to the BBC and other potential content suppliers.