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Sky News HD to launch next year

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Sky News HD to launch next year
Sky News HD will begin broadcasting in spring 2010 following a major upgrade to global production, studio and newsgathering facilities.

To be simulcast alongside the existing standard definition channel, the HD service will go live following improvements to the news provider's West London headquarters.

Work will also be done at Sky News' key bureaux around the UK and worldwide, while production teams will be given full training on using the technology.

This follows the first Sky News HD broadcast for Barack Obama's presidential inauguration on January 20 this year.

Sky+HD subscribers increased by 243,000 during the first quarter of 2009 to reach 1.022 million, up by 465,000 on the same period last year.

Jeremy Darroch, Sky's chief executive, said: "Sky News continues to break new ground in television news and it's only natural for it to become the first UK news channel to launch in HD.

"It's great news for our Sky+HD customers, giving them access to award-winning breaking news in HD for the very first time and further expanding the choice on offer."

Head of Sky News John Ryley commented: "Sky News HD marks another landmark for a news organisation, now in its 21st year of broadcasting.

"It's an investment in the future of news, for the audiences of today and tomorrow. It is a vision that clearly defines Sky's strengths, passion and restless pursuit to be first and to be the best.

"As well as enhanced studio presentation and compelling on-air graphics, news is also about the drama of human emotion: from keynote speeches and police news conferences to picket lines and joyful crowds at ceremonial events, HD is an opportunity to bring our viewers much closer to events, building on one of Sky News' existing strengths, and we're delighted that we can now announce we will be working towards launching this exciting new service next year."

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