With a new bird in the air, there was no doubt DirecTV would be back to lighting up HD locals as quickly as possible so we're not surprised to hear 16 markets are already scheduled to be turned on this year. The first ones to go live are Biloxi-Gulfport, Miss.; Idaho Falls-Pocatello, Idaho; and Joplin-Pittsburg, Mo in June, with the rest following in the third and fourth quarter. As usual, a newer receiver and Ka/Ku band dish are required to pick up the new signals, check the press release after the break for details on upgrade plans and which other markets are in line.
DIRECTV to Offer Local Channels in 172 Markets Including 16 New Markets in HD
More Than 97 Percent of U.S. TV Homes Will Have Access to Local Channels from DIRECTV; Roll Out of New Local Markets to Begin in June
EL SEGUNDO, Calif., May 17, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- DIRECTV, the world's most popular video service, will begin the rollout of 16 new HD local-channel markets next month, providing more than 97 percent of U.S. TV households access to local channels by the end of this year. When the rollout is complete, DIRECTV will offer local channels in 172 markets, including local HD in 155 markets.
DIRECTV will roll-out the following new HD local markets, beginning in June with Biloxi-Gulfport, Miss.; Idaho Falls-Pocatello, Idaho; and Joplin-Pittsburg, Mo. In the third quarter, DIRECTV will launch Albany, Ga.; Columbus, Ga.; Gainesville, Fla.; and Montgomery-Selma, Ark. In the fourth quarter, DIRECTV will launch Abilene-Sweetwater, Texas; Amarillo, Texas; Binghamton, N.Y.; Clarksburg-Weston, W.Va.; Lubbock, Texas; Sioux City, Iowa; Terre Haute, Ind.; Wheeling-Steubenville, W.Va.; and Wichita Falls-Lawton, Texas. For more HD local launch details, customers can visit www.directv.com/hdlocals.
"The launch of national HD channels capture the headlines, but the ability to watch local news, weather and primetime programming in HD or SD, remains an important part of our customers' daily viewing," said Derek Chang, executive vice president, Content Strategy and Development for DIRECTV. "And that's why we continue to expand our local channel service. Now more than 97 percent of TV homes in the U.S. will have access to DIRECTV local channels and a true alternative to other TV providers in their communities."
For customers who live within the designed area of each market, DIRECTV will deliver HD programming from the primary broadcast networks - ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC - where available.
To receive DIRECTV's HD local programming, customers must have an H20 or HR20 DIRECTV Plus(R) HD DVR receiver or above, and a Ka/Ku band dish. More information on programming, pricing and equipment is available at directv.com.
With the launch of locals in these markets, DIRECTV is rolling out a special offer for customers who need to upgrade their equipment: The first receiver is free and all additional receivers are only $49, along with free standard professional installation. To upgrade, customers should call 1-800-DIRECTV no earlier than three weeks before their market's confirmed launch date.
Current DIRECTV HD customers will continue to pay only a $10 fee to access their HD programming, allowing them to see their local channels along with DIRECTV's premier lineup of national channels in HD that are tied to their particular base programming package.
Customers can visit directv.com to learn more about the full complement of DIRECTV's HD programming lineup including existing channels, new channels, details on equipment required for the new DIRECTV HD services and updates on when the new markets will launch. DIRECTV recently announced the addition of more than 30 new HD channels that will begin rolling out this month, bringing DIRECTV's total HD channel lineup to more than 160.
DIRECTV (NASDAQ: DTV) is the world's most popular video service delivering state-of-the-art technology, unmatched programming, the most comprehensive sports packages available and industry leading customer service to its more than 25.6 million customers in the U.S. and Latin America. In the U.S., DIRECTV offers its 18.6 million customers more than 130 HD channels and Dolby-Digital(R) 5.1 theater-quality sound (when available), access to exclusive sports programming such as NFL SUNDAY TICKET(TM), award winning technology like its DIRECTV(R) DVR Scheduler and higher customer satisfaction than the leading cable companies for nine years running. DIRECTV Latin America, through its subsidiaries and affiliated companies in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, and other Latin American countries, leads the pay-TV category in technology, programming and service, delivering an unrivaled digital television experience to 7 million customers. DIRECTV sports and entertainment properties include three Regional Sports Networks (Northwest, Rocky Mountain and Pittsburgh) as well as a 65 percent interest in Game Show Network. For the most up-to-date information on DIRECTV, please call 1-800-DIRECTV or visit directv.com.