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Sky Reveals More HD Content Details

Although a specific launch date has yet to be announced, European DBS firm Sky (opens in new tab) (or BSKyB) is starting to offer more details about its HD content, which is expected to begin in early 2006 in the United Kingdom. One channel, Sky Sports HD, will feature live coverage of Premiership football (soccer) games and the Premiership rugby union. The HD sports coverage will also include live test and all one-day international matches that will be played in England, according to published reports.

There will be at least two Sky Movies HD channels that will mostly concentrate on major motion pictures that have been available on DVD (but not at HD-level yet, of course) for quite a while, including "Spider-Man 2," "Kill Bill, Vol. 1" and "Big Fish." Sky also promises an additional 10 HD movies a week will be available via its Sky Box Office venue.

Several U.S. imports will also air in HD on Sky, although no series yet announced from CBS, ABC or NBC. Series confirmed by Sky so far for HD airings include past seasons of "24," as well as "Rescue Me," "Bones," "Stargate" and "Stargate Atlantis," plus an original series or two.

Discovery Channel, National Geographic and the BBC also will provide HD content for the Sky launch next spring. A competitor, Telewest, plans to launch its own HD service in January in the United Kingdom along with its new STB DVR (HD Notebook, Nov. 16, 2005).