Dish Raises National HD Count


Dish Network launched high-definition feeds of Showtime Showcase HD, SHO2 HD, The Movie Channel HD and BET J, upping its national HD count to up to 128 channels.

The satellite TV operator also said Thursday it will add HD simulcasts of seven Viacom properties -- BET, Comedy Central, CMT, MTV, Nickelodeon, Spike TV and VH1 -- this spring.

Dish continues to pack more HD into its lineup in the hopes it will drive new subs and help retain existing ones. The company posted a net loss of 102,000 subscribers in the fourth quater of 2008.

Showtime Showcase HD, SHO2 HD and The Movie Channel HD are available on Dish via the Showtime Unlimited package at $12.99 per month. BET J is part of PlatinumHD, Dish's $10-per-month premium HD tier. Existing Dish  subscribers who upgrade to HD programming will receive PlatinumHD free for the first three months.