DirecTV is extending its high-definition television (HDTV) programme choice for customers, announcing that it is to broadcast two popular prime-time CBS series - CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Everybody Loves Raymond - in the format. A similar agreement with Fox is expected shortly.
The CBS-HD programming, originating at WCBS, New York, and KCBS, Los Angeles, will be offered to DirecTV customers in markets where CBS owns and operates stations. These include many major cities such as Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston, Dallas, Detroit, Minneapolis, Miami, Denver, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Salt Lake City, Austin and Green Bay.
A similar arrangement is expected to apply with respect to Fox HDTV programming, which would be offered to DirecTV subscribers where Fox broadcasts. Customers subscribing to the DirecTV local channels package in CBS and/or Fox owner-operator markets will receive the HDTV format shows free of charge.
At present DirecTV offers seven HD channels. Its HD package features ESPN HD, Discovery HD Theater, HDNet, and HDNet Movies at $10.99 per month, while DirecTV's HD customers also get HBO HDTV and SHOWTIME HDTV in their premium packages, along with HD Pay pay-movies.
Further developments are likely to be unveiled at the HDTV Forum 2004, August 24-26, which will be attended by TV and cable executives, government agencies, satellite and cable providers, retailers, distributors, TV brands, TV OEMs, and manufacturers and IC manufacturers.
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