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Hong Kong pay-TV rivalry moves into HD arena

Rose Major ©RapidTVNews | 15-10-2010
Hong Kong Cable TV has added two in-house high-definition channels, but its five-channel HD offering still lags rival Now TV’s eight-channel HD service.

New channels hd204 and hd205 join existing services hd201, hd202 and hd203. The new channels will kick off with HD simulcasts of two English Premier League matches tomorrow, Oct 16.
While Cable TV’s HD services are focused mainly on sport, PCCW’s Now TV encompass many genres. Now TV offers Now HD, Now Sports HD, American Sports Network (ASN), HBO HD, History HD, Discovery World HD, Nat Geo HD and WeTV as its high-definition offering.
But i-Cable, which operates the Hong Kong Cable TV said that the enhancement of its HD platform is not only in the number of channels “but also on the spectrum of quality programmes”. New programmes include Hong Kong’s first ever programme produced and broadcast entirely in HD, as well as new HD horse racing content. And the English Premier League soccer, one of the key focuses of Cable TV’s HD offering, remains a big draw in Hong Kong.
“The target is to turn hd203 as the one and only HD soccer-cum-horse racing channel in town,” a company statement said.
Senior Vice President, Subscription Service of Cable TV, Vincent Cheung, said: "The introduction of horse racing programmes widens the spectrum of programme genres on our HD platform to cater to the different needs of our subscribers.
"The new hd204 and hd205 channels will also expand our capacity to broadcast more live BPL and top European soccer actions at the same time."
Cable TV will also carry HD coverage of the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou between November 12 and 27.

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