Comcast launches Mile-High HD
Adding another customer retention tool to its repertoire, Comcast Cable launched a tier of high-definition television programming to more than 830,000 homes in the Denver/Boulder area.
Comcast's HDTV service got off the ground with programming from seven providers: NBC, PBS, HBO, Showtime, ESPN HD, and InDemand's newly launched linear hi-def nets, INHD and INHD2. Comcast is also offering "enhanced" wide-screen-formatted digital programming from Fox.
The new service counters HD tiers from DBS competitors such as Englewood, Colo.-based EchoStar Communications, which launched an expanded HD package comprised of programming from ESPN, Discovery and Mark Cuban's HDNet and HDNet Movies for $9.99 per month or $109.89 annually. EchoStar also offers HD content from CBS, HBO, Showtime and "Dish-On-Demand" hi-def pay-per-view movies.
In contrast, Comcast will offer HD programming from broadcasters and ESPN to customers as part of their traditional digital package. HD content from HBO and Showtime will be offered as part of the subscription fee to those premium channels. The MSO said it will waive the $5 HD box fee through the end of 2003, but will still charge normal installation fees.