Cablevision Ups HD Channel Offerings

Cablevision Systems Corporation, the fifth biggest cable provider in the USA, will add 15 new high-definition (HD) channels by the end of this month to combat the rising competition from Verizon Communications Inc and satellite TV providers.

The New York-based cable television company said that after addition of 15 free HD channels, subscribers will have access to 60 channels.

The company will be adding WE tv, AMC, Nickelodeon, The Weather Channel, Travel Channel, FOX News Channel, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Hallmark Movie Channel and FX to its HD offerings from July 28 and will make them available across its complete service area by Aug 1, 2008.

Cablevision, which has over 3 million subscribers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, is desperate to ward off growing competition from satellite challengers including DIRECTV Group and DISH Network Corp, as well as Verizon’s flourishing FiOS TV service.

The company also said that around 1.1 million of its digital cable subscribers have at least one high-definition TV and HD-enabled set-top box.

Analysts said that customers think that satellite TV provides better-quality HD services than cable, but that is not entirely correct.

Although the satellite companies do offer up more HD channels, the quality is equal to that of cable.

At present, DIRECTV has 95 HD channels and DISH offers 80 HD channels.

Verizon presently offers up 30 HD channels on its FiOS TV service and said it would add another 30 to its existing portfolio in the coming months.

The phone company said it would also have the capacity for 150 HD channels by year-end.