Euro1080 HDTV Channel starts January 1st 2004

22 January 2003

The time has come to start the rollout of digital high-definition television in Europe. Today, there are already developments towards HDTV broadcast channels all over the world: in Asia (all Japanese TV channels, Korean Broadcasting, CCTV China), in Australia (all channels from July 1st 2003 on) and in the Americas (various channels in the USA including ‘HD net’, ‘TV Azteca-Mexico’, ‘TV Globo-Brasil’). This trend will accelerate during the next years. Already now, for the Olympics 2004 in Athens, some 10 broadcasters have requested the acquisition and distribution of HD signals for their home market. There are convincing reasons that Europe should follow, given the great desire to experience high-quality entertainment, as e.g. illustrated by the incredible speed in the acceptance of DVD and other home cinema products. The Euro1080 Channel will start on January 1st 2004 with high production-value programmes, in HDTV format, and accompanied with best quality surround-sound, all with European-wide coverage to gain economy of scale.

Euro1080 will provide sports, music, events, shows, entertainment spectacles and European films as the content that will profit most from the quality delivery platform, and for which there is an interested audience.

The Euro1080 Channel is a key element in the chain to bring HD into the living room, but there are other elements with comparable importance. In addition to content owners, media producers, production companies and their suppliers in the broadcast equipment industry, a key role is to be played by the Consumer Electronics industry, in order to provide decoders and high definition TV sets.

The longer-term objective of Euro1080 is clearly to address a large number of consumers with HD TV sets at home. But beyond this audience we address others as well. We distinguish three different types of audiences for the distribution platform that we are building: electronic cinemas, homes and “small venues”, such as sports bars, small theatres, points-of-sales, conference sites, hotel chains, etc. Not only do we think that this will be an interesting business in itself, but we also believe that by starting the distribution of quality content through public places, we will reach a large audience quickly, and as such speed up the process of acceptance and penetration of HD devices in the homes.

Euro1080 is in conversation with a large number of players in the television production and delivery chain to identify the remaining pieces and complete the puzzle. On our website you can follow our progress.