Satellite services boost HDTV offerings

Terrestrial broadcasters should take note: A wave of new HDTV services have started to roll out in a big way on satellite television.

The first wave of new HD channels comes from DIRECTV, who just added 21 new HD channels to its lineup. Seventy more are promised for October, and up to 100 by year’s end. New services included CNN HD, A&E HD, The History Channel HD, and premiums like HBO HD, Showtime HD, and Starz HD.

Competitor EchoStar’s DISH Network has launched four HD regional sports networks including Altitude Sports and Entertainment, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Comcast SportsNet West and FSN Ohio.

Altitude carries NBA’s Denver Nuggets and NHL’s Colorado Avalanche. Comcast SportsNet West delivers Sacramento Kings basketball, while FSN Ohio has the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA and Columbus Blue Jackets NHL games. Comcast Mid-Atlantic covers Washington, D.C., area teams.

The DISH Network currently has 74 HD channels including 39 national channels. It now carries 22 regional sports channels in HD.