Discovery HD Canadas First 24-Hour High
Definition Specialty Service Approved by CRTC
- Discovery HD to launch by the end of 2005 -
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Toronto, Ontario (Oct. 25, 2005) CTV Specialty Television Inc. (a subsidiary of CTV
Inc.) and US-based Discovery Communications announced today that their joint venture
application to the CRTC for a new High Definition (HD) specialty channel Discovery
HD has been approved, representing a landmark in Canadian television. Expected to
launch before the end of 2005, this Category 2 Digital Specialty Service will be
Canadas first 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week High Definition Specialty Service.
Todays announcement sets a new bar in the Canadian television landscape as
Discovery HD combines one of the worlds greatest television brands with unparalleled
HD production and broadcast experience, said Rick Brace, President, CTV Inc.
CTV Specialty Television Inc., in partnership with Discovery Communications, is
uniquely positioned to lead the way in the Canadian HD arena and feed a growing consumer
demand for High Definition content. The CRTC approval of Discovery HD will greatly benefit
not only Canadian audiences but the Canadian television production industry as well.
Discoverys leadership role in the global High Definition content arena will be
further strengthened by the launch of Discovery HD in Canada, said Dawn L. McCall,
President, Discovery Networks International. Discoverys long-standing
tradition of using spectacular imagery to bring viewers closer to their world lends itself
naturally to the high-definition format and makes Discovery HD the gold standard in High
From science and technology to adventure and natural history, Discovery HD will represent
the best of the Discovery brand and showcase a dynamic line-up of programming that
maximizes the potential of HD. High Definition television is characterized by its 16:9
aspect ratio (versus 4:3 for Standard Definition), 1080i lines of resolution (versus 480i
for Standard Definition), and CD quality sound resulting in an audio and visual
experience that is richer, deeper and more panoramic than Standard Definition viewing.
Discovery HD marries the enhanced technology of HD with stunning Discovery programming and
reveals the wonders of our world from the massive to the miniscule in an
exciting new way: mountain ranges are more breathtaking and treacherous, oceans are deeper
and broader, and space exploration is more exhilarating.
The schedule will be a compelling mix of Discovery Channels most popular series and
specials plus original HD programming from Canadian independent producers, international
producers and broadcasters from around the world. Discovery HD will broadcast live events,
original Canadian productions and popular series from Discovery including American Chopper
and Monster Garage. Discovery HD will also leverage Discovery Channel Canadas unique
relationship with NHK Japan a global leader in HD technology and content and
the National Film Board (NFB). Discovery Channel Canadas own in-house production
company, Exploration Production Inc. (EPI), will also be a key HD content provider as it
continues to expand its production slate, including more than 75 hours of HD production in
This newly approved channel is a stand-alone, independently scheduled channel and is
distinguished from the existing simulcast service in that the content is specifically
produced and broadcast to capitalize on the advantages of High Definition technology. In
2003, CTV Inc. launched its current incarnation of Discovery HD and TSN HD, followed by
two HD channels for CTV (CTV HD East and CTV HD West). Since then, Discovery HD has aired
more than 500 hours of High Definition programming in tandem with its popular analog
service. Pending cable, DTH and other television service provider carriage, the new
Discovery HD will replace the former HD service by the end of 2005. Details about the
launch date and early programming highlights will be released at a later date.
In June 2002, Discovery Communications became the first broadcaster in the world to offer
a 24/7 High Definition network with the launch of Discovery HD Theater in the US. The US
channel has proven to be a driver for consumer subscription to High Definition television
service, and is No. 1 in customer satisfaction and a leader in HD content production.
Discovery Channel Canada is owned 80% by CTV Specialty Television Inc. (a subsidiary of
CTV Inc.) and 20% by Discovery Communications.
Taking Discovery Channel programming to a bigger and bolder platform, Discovery HD is
Canadas first 24-hour specialty service broadcasting exclusively in High Definition.
With a fascinating perspective on science and technology, adventure, engineering and
natural history, Discovery HD is at the forefront of innovative factual storytelling,
fusing critically acclaimed programming from Canada and around the world with the latest
in High Definition technology. Discovery HD is wholly owned by Discovery Channel Canada, a
joint venture between CTV Specialty Television Inc. and Discovery Communications.
CTV Specialty Television Inc:
CTV Specialty Television Inc. is a leader in Canadian specialty television. Committed to
providing Canadian viewers with the highest quality programming available, it operates
world-class specialty services and production facilities. CTV Specialty has ownership
interests in and operates three of Canadas premier specialty television services -
TSN, the top-rated Canadian specialty channel; RDS, the world's first French-language
all-sports channel; and Discovery Channel, an award-winning specialty channel. CTV
Specialty also manages OLN, featuring adventure-based programming. CTV owns interests in
and operates five digital specialty channels, including Animal Planet, a specialty channel
focusing on the animal kingdom; Discovery Civilization, a specialty channel devoted to
studying past and present civilizations; ESPN Classic, which airs encore broadcasts of the
most cherished classic games and moments from the world of sports; CTV Travel, an
English-language travel channel; and the NHL Network, which delivers round-the-clock
hockey programming that offers viewers the most complete and in-depth hockey coverage. CTV
Specialty also owns interests in Dome Productions Inc., Canada's leading provider of
mobile television production facilities, as well as Exploration Production Inc. and
Exploration Distribution Inc. CTV Specialty Television Inc. is owned by CTV Inc. and ESPN,
Discovery Communications is the leading global real-world media and entertainment company.
Discovery has grown from its core property, the Discovery Channel, first launched in the
United States in 1985, to current global operations in more than 160 countries and
territories with 1.3 billion cumulative subscribers. Outside the United States, Discovery
distributes 14 international brands reaching more than 662 million cumulative subscribers.
Discovery Communications is owned by four shareholders: Discovery Holding Company (NASDAQ:
DISCA, DISCB), Cox Communications, Inc., Advance/Newhouse Communications and John S.
Hendricks, the Company's Founder and Chairman.