Cablevision Systems will offer 100 high-definition channels across its service area by June, aiming to hold its own in the face of triple-digit HD lineups from Verizon FiOS TV, DirecTV and Dish Network.
The cable company said it will add 31 new HD channels this week in its New York City systems as well as nine HD networks across the rest of its footprint. The 100-HD lineup will be available by June to all customers in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.
The new programming includes 14 HD networks available as part of the standard digital-cable package, plus 17 premium channels from HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, Starz and TMC.
"Free HD has become a hallmark of iO TV, and a key point of differentiation over our competitors, so we are very pleased to announce this significant expansion to more than 100 channels of free HD available across our service area," John Trierweiler, Cablevision senior vice president of product management, said in a statement.
The 14 HD channels included with Cablevision's digital-cable package are: A&E HD, BET HD, E! HD, History Channel HD, Bio HD, Crime & Investigation HD, G4 HD, Palladia HD, Planet Green HD, Style HD, Outdoor Channel HD, NBA TV HD, QVC HD and Live Well HD.
The 17 premium services are: HBO West HD, HBO2 West HD, HBO Signature West HD, HBO Family West HD, Showtime Extreme HD, Showtime West HD, Showtime Too West HD, Showtime Showcase West HD, Thriller Max HD, W Max HD, 5 Star Max HD, Cinemax West HD, Starz West HD, Starz Comedy HD, TMC XTRA HD, TMC West HD, and TMC XTRA West HD.
Cablevision had been the only major MSO to carry the 15 HD channels from Voom Networks, operated by the company's Rainbow Media Holdings division. After Rainbow shut down Voom in December, Cablevision restocked the lineup with high-def premium services the following month.
Cablevision has about 2.8 million iO TV customers, with more than 91% on a digital cable tier. The MSO also offers approximately 100 HD video-on-demand movies starting at $4.95 for a 24-hour rental.