Cablevision System has bolstered its HD pitch, adding Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Soccer Plus to its free lineup of enhanced service.
The New York metro area's predominant cable operator said it is automatically directing HD set-top boxes to the HD feeds of the complementary channels, when they are available. For CableCARD customers, the HD channel position for Fox Soccer Channel is 797; Fox Soccer Plus is available on 798. All told, Cablevision counts over 100 free HD channels.
The standard-definition version of FSS has long been available on channel 142 as part of the iO TV digital programming package, while Cablevision is positioning Fox Soccer Plus on channel 461 as part of its iO Sports Pak.
The digital sports tier, encompassing 19 networks, is available to customers who subscribe to any iO package, with Family Cable or above, for an additional $6.95 per month.
"We are pleased to make Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Soccer Plus available to our iO TV customers in both standard and high-definition," said Gary Schanman, Cablevision's senior vice president of video product management, in announcing the additions. "Offering our customers the best sports programming in HD is a hallmark of our digital cable service. These are important services for soccer fans, and great additions to the diverse array of programming choices we deliver to iO TV customers."
Premium service Fox Soccer Plus complements FSC with top futbol fare, as well as with rugby action. Earlier today, Fox Soccer Plus announced that it had reached an agreement with Pitch International, covering six rugby competitions through 2014, several of which it aired last season as part of therights that were transferred from the now defunct Setanta Sports USA. Cablevision never offered that premium channel.