Virgin Media (NASDAQ:VMED) (LSE:VMED), the UK's leading entertainment and communications company, has confirmed its TV customers will soon be able to enjoy Discovery HD as well as more HD shows on demand, as part of the company’s growing High-Definition offering.

Launching this spring, Discovery HD on Virgin TV will broadcast all day, every day and offer content from Discovery’s extensive collection of more than 1500 hours of HD programming. Discovery HD is full of entertaining shows about popular science, history, engineering, culture and natural history including Extreme Engineering, Mythbusters, NASA’s Greatest Missions and Bear Grylls: Born Survivor.

This is Virgin Media’s second announcement about new HD channels this year and the company plans to reveal more details about further launches in the coming months. Virgin Media’s expanding HD line-up already covers a wide variety of branded entertainment, including drama, sport, documentaries and music, with channels from the BBC and Channel 4 available to all Virgin TV customers, as well as ESPN, FX, MTV Networks, National Geographic, LIVING (a Virgin Media exclusive) and the forthcoming Eurosport HD channel all available for no additional monthly fee to ‘XL’ TV customers.

In addition, Discovery Networks and Virgin Media will make HD on demand content available, such as Deadliest Catch and Miami Ink. Virgin Media already carries several hundred hours of HD programmes on demand, all ready to start at the touch of a button. This includes HD versions of popular films, as well as BBC iPlayer HD and full television series via Virgin Media’s huge TV Choice on Demand archive.

Cindy Rose, executive director of digital entertainment at Virgin Media, said: “Discovery’s engrossing programming is all the more amazing in High-Definition and will make a compelling addition to our growing HD line-up. We’re adding several more HD channels in the coming months, which we will make available to our XL TV customers for no extra monthly fee. Compelling channels, combined with our vast collection of on-demand programming, will ensure that our customers have the best overall HD entertainment package available.”

Dee Forbes, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Discovery Networks UK, said: “Virgin Media is a valued partner of ours and I am delighted that they have added Discovery’s UK HD channel to their portfolio. Discovery has been at the forefront of HD development across the globe and now offers HD services in 23 international markets. HD is increasingly popular with TV viewers and with over 1500 hours of HD content to choose from, Discovery gives consumers the opportunity to see many of their favourite shows in stunning high definition.”

For more information on Virgin Media products and services visit: www.virginmedia.com.

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Notes to editorsUnlike other providers, Virgin Media does not charge for HD channels, with all XL TV customers able to receive HD versions of their favourite channels at no extra cost. A V+ HD digital video recorder is required to decode HD channels, as well as an HDMI connecting lead and an HD-ready TV.

About Virgin MediaWith almost 10 million customers, Virgin Media is the UK's first quad-play provider of broadband, TV, phone and mobile.

The company is one of the largest residential broadband providers in the UK, using a unique fibre optic cable network to deliver next generation ultrafast internet access of up to 50Mb to just over half of all homes. Combined with a high speed ADSL service and mobile broadband products, Virgin Media is able to offer broadband internet access to virtually the entire country.

Virgin Media has the UK’s most advanced TV on demand service and is the only TV platform to carry BBC iPlayer. It is the second largest provider of pay TV, was the first to launch a high definition TV service and offers a high-specification, HD-ready V+ personal video recorder.

The company operates the most popular virtual mobile network in the UK which, when launched, was the world’s first such mobile phone service. It is also one of the largest fixed-line home phone providers in the country.

Virgin Media also owns Virgin Media Television (VMtv) which runs seven entertainment channels, including Virgin1, LIVING, Bravo and Challenge. VMtv is a 50 per cent joint partner with BBC Worldwide in UKTV, which consists of ten channels including Dave, G.O.L.D., Watch and Alibi.

Virgin Media Inc. is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market and the London Stock Exchange (VMED).

About DiscoveryDiscovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world’s number one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 170 countries. Discovery empowers people to explore their world and satisfy their curiosity through 100-plus worldwide networks, led by Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Discovery Science and Discovery HD, as well as leading consumer and educational products and services, and a diversified portfolio of digital media services including HowStuffWorks.com. In the UK, 13 Discovery brands reach over 4.5 million people per day.

Copyright Business Wire 2010