London, 26 January, 2009 – NBC Universal Global Networks today announced the launch of a high definition (HD) simulcast version of its popular SCI FI channel, the UK?s only dedicated science fiction and fantasy network. SCI FI HD will begin broadcasting this evening on Sky+HD, the UK?s most comprehensive HD service.
?We are thrilled to introduce SCI FI HD in the UK? said Laurence Dawkin-Jones, UK Managing Director for NBC Universal Global Networks. ?Our SCI FI audience is early adopting, highly discerning and strongly loyal consumers of science fiction and it is a natural evolution of the SCI FI brand to offer them such high quality targeted programming. Out of our four channel brands in the UK, including Hallmark, Diva TV and Movies24, SCI FI is the natural choice to be our first brand in the UK to launch in HD.?
SCI FI HD subscribers will find the channel at position 214 in the EPG. Key highlights they can enjoy throughout 2009 will include:
– Eli Stone: the exclusive Season 2 UK premiere boasts Sigourney Weaver?s first ever TV acting role as well as Katie Holmes singing and dancing as a sexy showgirl. British singer Seal also makes an appearance as himself;
– Tin Man: The star-studded Wizard Of Oz inspired mini-series was nominated for a staggering nine EMMY Awards and promises to take viewers on an out of this world journey beyond the yellow brick road;
– Sanctuary: the popular, special-effects laden fantasy series will bring to life an impressive collection of weird and wonderful creations on the channel from February 12;
– HD movie exclusives: a plethora of film titles will make their high definition debut, including Roger Corman?s $10 million CGI-fest CYCLOPS and the SCI FI channel original production BA?AL: THE STORM GOD, starring Jeremy London.
?Launching SCI FI in HD on Sky is an important move forward for our ongoing international channels expansion strategy. HD has been and will continue to be a major focus for Global Networks, following our first successful HD launch in France over a year ago?, commented Roma Khanna, President, Global Networks & Digital Initiatives at NBC Universal. ?HD is a core part of our strategy of rapid expansion as we grow from our current 70 channels to over 90 channels in the next year. HD offers our subscribers the best premium viewing experience as they engage with our world class brands.?
Hilary Perchard, Director of Product Management for BSkyB, said: ?We are delighted to welcome SCI FI HD to our ever expanding Sky+HD channel line up. SCI FI HD will be our 31st high definition channel and add even more choice and quality to the Sky+HD experience. Be it sports, movies, entertainment, drama or documentaries, our customers can enjoy the intensity and richness of HD whatever their interests and passions.?
Sky+HD is the UK?s most comprehensive HD service with 31 channels offering over 11,000 hours of true HD content each month, nearly 50 times the HD output of any other platform. Launched in May 2006, it is Sky?s fastest ever growing additional TV product with over half a million Sky homes now enjoying the richness and intensity of high definition TV and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound.
SCI FI Channel boasts a successful mix of first run smash hit US dramas, exclusive UK movie premieres and timeless cult favourites.