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Discovery plans HD simulcast for DStv

Discovery Communications is set to launch a high definition feed of the Discovery Channel for subscribers of the DStv pay TV platform in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. 

The channel is due to launch in the first quarter of 2014 and will be a dedicated feed for DStv – meaning it will offer advertisers more brand partnership and sponsorship opportunities, according to DStv.

The Discovery Channel HD simulcast will air on Channel 121 on DStv, replacing the current Discovery HD Showcase channel.

Content from Discovery HD Showcase will remain available to DStv viewers via its new Explora HD PVR decoder VoD service and online VoD offering. DStv said the move would give viewers the opportunity to watch “even more of Discovery’s HD content.”

“The launch of the new dedicated HD Discovery Channel is an important milestone for our services in Africa and represents our continued commitment to offering DStv viewers the best, high quality programming experience possible,” said James Gibbons, senior vice president, emerging business, Discovery Networks CEEMEA.

The HD channel launch was agreed between Discovery Networks Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA) and DStv owner MultiChoice.

To tie in with the launch, Discovery Networks will launch its first scripted drama, made by Hollywood director Ridley Scott. The eight-part mini-series, called Klondike, will star big-name actors including Chris Cooper, Tim Roth, Richard Madden, Abbie Cornish and Sam Sheppard.