National Geographic HD Used as Lure

It seems whenever a new content provider (whether cable, fiber or DBS) these days is touting its HD line up to rope in customers, high on nearly everyone's list is the National Geographic HD channel. (It seems a long time ago now that the NG channel had a hard time getting on many cable analog line ups, and had to go directly to digital tiers before most homes had DTV of any kind.) The latest example of its HD successes is Sky in Europe, which has added NG HD as the first of its "third party channels" to its HD services, which begins this week in the U.K. (see related item in this edition).

National Geographic HD will be available to Sky's satellite HD viewers starting in early 2007. It will join six other Sky channels covering natural history, wildlife, science and world exploration. All programs will be produced with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. Sky said in a statement that nature documentaries have been one of the big draws for HD in the U.S., which is a big reason it's touting NG and similar fare to lure HD subs.