Here is the INHD announcement (TWC Ch. 501):
NEW YORK, April 28, 2003 - iN DEMAND is preparing to launch as many as three high-definition television channels featuring a variety of movies, sports and general entertainment, the first of those to be named INHD and to be unveiled on September 1, 2003, announced Steve Brenner, president & chief executive officer.
While iN DEMAND's core business will continue to exploit the traditional models currently being used for both pay-per-view and video-on demand, the model for the new HD channels will be 24/7, linear-programming, not PPV or VOD. However, both will share equally from advantageous economies of scale, making iN DEMAND uniquely positioned to supply additional sources for HD content to distributors as lower-priced digital televisions become more widely adopted.
By exploiting our existing infrastructure, we were able to devise an expeditious solution for HDTV on behalf of our distribution partners, said Rob Jacobson, executive vice president & chief operating officer. Those economies of scale also provide a solution that is highly cost effective and bandwidth efficient. In the end, the big winner will be the customer, because we can deliver more HD value quicker than they would get otherwise.
INHD will feature several hundred hours of movies, professional and college sports, and general interest programming that maximizes the HD experience. At launch, there will be 12 hours of unique programming daily that will be recycled twice a day. Following the launch of INHD in September, iN DEMAND plans to launch additional HD networks later in the year with more of a focus on movies and sports. INHD will have a separate and distinct brand strategy from iN DEMAND.
The content will be available in wide screen, high-resolution format and will also feature Dolby Digital 5.1 audio when available. While the audio is equivalent to most DVDs, the picture quality is superior. iN DEMAND is working with major digital file-server vendors and set-top manufacturers to deliver its HD content in the 1080i format.
Adding new linear channels to our product line in some respects marks a major transformation of iN DEMAND from a business model focused narrowly on transactional content to one more broadly focused on both transactional and linear programming, said Brenner. With the aggressive rollout of VOD still underway, both models will continue to play significantly important roles and remain vitally important to the overall product mix and success of our affiliates.
iN DEMAND's foray into the HD space began earlier this year when it delivered a live HD broadcast of the 2003 NBA All Star Game, which was broadcast in standard definition on TNT.
iN DEMAND also became the nation's first VOD provider to adopt the HD format commencing with My Big Fat Greek Wedding in April, and Friday After Next, About Schmidt, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Ring, and Catch Me If You Can scheduled for upcoming months.
According to a recent CTAM survey, digital cable subscribers have the highest unaided awareness of HDTV among multi-channel TV consumers at 79%. Ninety-two percent of adults who have seen HDTV or are broadband users have unaided awareness of the technology. HDTV's picture quality, which is five times sharper than standard definition TV, is cited by 66 % of consumers as the most appealing attribute of HDTV.
Comcast Corp., the nation's largest cable operator, is aggressively moving forward with plans to make HD programming readily available to customers, while a large percentage of Time Warner's digital customers who are equipped with HD-ready set-tops also have access to HD content.
The launch of INHD becomes the latest milestone for iN DEMAND whose origin as the industry's leading distributor of PPV and VOD began over a decade ago as Viewer's Choice. Previous milestones were made when the company introduced the 35-channel PPV multiplex with 30-minute start times; sports packages from the NBA, NHL, MLB and NASCAR; VOD license agreements from Hollywood's biggest studios, free-on-demand content and, more recently, HD movies on demand.
iN DEMAND delivers new releases and library titles for cable's VOD platform from Hollywood's top studios, including Artisan Entertainment, DreamWorks SKG, MGM, New Line Cinema, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Studios and Warner Bros. The output from these agreements give the company access to over 85 percent of the new films released by Hollywood, positioning iN DEMAND as the nation's largest provider of major motion pictures in the VOD space.
In addition to recent releases and library titles, iN DEMAND delivers hundreds of hours of VOD content licensed from entertainment companies such as BBC AMERICA, Comedy Central, Court TV, ESPN, Fox News, and Sesame Workshop.
iN DEMAND, the world's leading PPV and VOD provider, delivers television premieres of the best movies, championship boxing, mega-event wrestling, professional and college sports, plus original entertainment. iN DEMAND's 60-channel digital lineup also offers MLB Extra Innings, NBA League Pass, WNBA Season Pass, NHL Center Ice, ESPN Full Court and NASCAR IN CAR on iN DEMAND. The company's shareholders are Comcast iN DEMAND Holdings, Inc., Cox Communications, Inc. and Time Warner Entertainment - Advance/Newhouse Partnership. Further information about the company can be found on the Internet at www.indemand.com.