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Olympics: MultiChoice Adds HD Channel for South Africa

On Aug. 8, the opening day of the summer Olympics in Beijing, South African DBS firm MultiChoice will launch its first HD channel on its “DStv bouquet.” The specially designated outlet will cover the games from opening ceremonies on the first day (conveniently tagged by some marketers, including NBCU, simply as “8.8.08”) through closing ceremonies on Aug. 24.

MultiChoice said the move to an all-HD venue for the duration of the 17-day Olympics had been necessitated by the recent increase in the number of South Africans buying HD receivers—partly in response to the Olympics themselves, but also attributed to the growth of Blu-ray disc package content, the DBS firm said.

After the Olympics, MultiChoice said it will offer free airtime on its HD channel until March 2009, in order to help introduce advertisers to its new HD service.