EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Dec 03, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) --
Millions of viewers will be able to enjoy their favorite Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) programs in crystal clear HD as DIRECTV begins launching local public television stations in HD in markets across the country today.
DIRECTV, which has long been at the forefront of HD programming, continues its unprecedented expansion of HD with the launch of local public television stations in 14 markets and will continue to roll out additional markets through the end of the year and in 2009 -- ahead of the Feb. 17 digital transition.
Local PBS stations in HD are now available in the following markets: Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Iowa City-Dubuque, Iowa; Chicago; Davenport, Iowa-Rock Island-Moline, Ill.; Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York, Norfolk-Newport News, Va.; Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; Rochester, N.Y.; and Waco-Temple-Bryan, Texas.
The local public television HD launch follows the recent ratification by public television stations of the landmark agreement reached late last year by DIRECTV, Inc., the Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) and PBS. Under the agreement, DIRECTV will offer HD programming from local public television stations in markets where it now provides local HD channels to its customers. DIRECTV offers local HD programming in 115 markets, representing more than 87 percent of U.S. TV households.
"We applaud the cooperative effort put forth by the member stations, APTS and PBS, to ratify the digital carriage agreement that enables DIRECTV to begin delivering local public television stations in HD to our customers," said Derek Chang, executive vice president, Content Strategy and Development, DIRECTV, Inc. "As the industry's HD leader and the only satellite TV provider to offer local PBS stations in HD, we believe in delivering content that is worthy of this incredible technology. The addition of PBS's high-quality programming to our HD lineup continues to raise the bar on the DIRECTV viewing experience."
APTS Acting President and CEO Lonna Thompson said: "DIRECTV has taken the historic step of ensuring its satellite customers have access to our stations' local digital programming. We commend DIRECTV's leadership in serving satellite viewers."
PBS President and CEO Paula A. Kerger said: "The digital future holds extraordinary promise for public television. This agreement helps ensure that all Americans will be able to enjoy the outstanding HD programming presented by our local stations across the nation."
DIRECTV will also carry two national, standard-definition channels of public television programming and will work with APTS and PBS stations to develop programming for DIRECTV's video on demand service.
DIRECTV, Inc. (NASDAQ:DTV), the nation's leading satellite television service provider, presents the finest television experience available to more than 17.3 million customers in the United States and is leading the HD revolution with more than 130 HD channels -- more quality HD channels than any other television provider. Each day, DIRECTV subscribers enjoy access to over 265 channels of 100% digital picture and sound, exclusive programming, industry-leading customer satisfaction (which has surpassed all national cable companies for eight years running) and superior technologies that include advancedDVR and HD-DVR servicesand the most state-of-the-art interactive sports packages available anywhere. For the most up-to-date information on DIRECTV, please visit directv.com.
The Association of Public Television Stations was established to support the continued growth and development of a strong and financially sound noncommercial television service for the American public. As broadcasters make the transition to digital, APTS is working to ensure the federal government continues its commitment to universal public television services. For more information, please visit apts.org.
PBS KIDS, for preschoolers, and PBS KIDS GO!, for early elementary school kids, offers all children -- from every walk of life -- the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and outreach content. Like its programming counterpart, PBS resources - including PBS KIDS online (pbskids.org), PBS KIDS GO! online (pbskidsgo.org), PBS Parents (pbsparents.org), PBS Teachers (pbs.org/teachers), PBS KIDS Raising Readers and literacy events across the country - leverage the full spectrum of media and technology advancements as well as community to build knowledge, critical thinking, imagination and curiosity. Guiding children towards empowerment for success in school and in life, only PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! have earned the unanimous endorsement of parents, children, industry leaders and teachers. PBS is a nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 356 public television stations, serving more than 61 million people each week and reaching 99% of American homes.
SOURCE: DIRECTV, Inc.
Robert Mercer, 310-964-4683
Tania Panczyk-Collins, 202-654-4222
Jennifer Daddura, 703-739-5028
Copyright Business Wire 2008
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