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'HD not just about sport and film': BBC

by John Parnell on Jun 24, 2009

The BBC is looking to ramp up its HDTV programming slate in response to viewer demand.
The BBC is looking to ramp up its HDTV programming slate in response to viewer demand.

Viewers in the UK list documentaries, modern dramas and Saturday night family entertainment as their most desired HD content, according to a new study by the BBC.

Sport and premium movies are commonly considered as the main content drivers for HD services however, both the report and BBC HD audience figures suggest a different pattern.

“HD is the new, mainstream television proposal,” said Danielle Nagler, head of BBC HD at the HD Masters Conference in London.

“Contrary to expectations – which suggest the great appetite in HD is for sport, films and jaw-dropping natural history programming – our research shows that what viewers want in HD are the programmes that they love to watch in SD,” revealed Nagler. 

“Topping the list are documentaries, modern dramas, Saturday night family entertainment, and science and technology programmes, with soaps, news and comedies not far behind.”

Nagler also revealed a selection of the most watched programmes on the BBC HD channel so far with a Doctor Who special, The Eurovision Song Contest and Hustle leading the ratings. 

BBC HD currently attracts 1.2 million viewers a month with figures currently growing at more than 120 percent.

Sales of HD ready TV sets in the Middle East have outstripped the supply of locally available content. Studies by market research firm DisplaySearch have found that growth in sales of TV sets in the Middle East and Africa has consistently outstripped developed markets. 


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