Virgin Media’s (NASDAQ:VMED)(LSE:VMED) digital TV customers will be able to enjoy football’s World Cup in full High Definition (HD) glory as the ITV1 HD channel joins the company’s TV line-up on April 2 nd.

ITV1 HD will offer a range of High Definition programming, with upcoming highlights including the UEFA Champions League, The FA Cup, and England internationals; HD dramas including Father & Son, Identity, The Prisoner, Foyles War and Lewis; factual programming including Joanna Lumley’s Nile, Greatest Cities of the World with Griff Rhys Jones, and the brand new Survival with Ray Mears. In entertainment there are new programmes, The Whole 19 Yards and 71 Degrees North, and the return of Soccer Aid and the UK’s biggest TV show, Britain’s Got Talent.

Cindy Rose, executive director of digital entertainment at Virgin Media, said: “ITV offers some of the UK’s most loved programmes and we’re delighted to add them to our growing HD channel line-up. This year’s World Cup promises some unforgettable games and Virgin Media TV viewers will be able to enjoy every nail-biting, heart-stopping, breath-taking moment in stunning High Definition.”

Virgin Media’s TV customers will be able to watch all of this summer’s football World Cup in HD with all matches shown on ITV1 HD or the BBC’s HD channel. Both channels are available on Virgin Media’s digital TV platform and included in all of Virgin Media’s TV packages at no extra cost.

Peter Fincham, ITV Director of Television, Channels and Online, said: “The availability of High Definition content is something viewers have come to expect as standard and, as we approach the 2010 World Cup, I’m delighted that we are able to launch our new channel, ITV1 HD, on Virgin Media. All of our output will benefit from the stunning picture quality that High Definition offers, whether it’s ITV’s original drama, landmark factual shows, entertainment events or our live football.”

Some of ITV1’s HD content will also be available on demand via ITV Net Player on Virgin Media’s TV platform. The popular TV on demand service saw over eight million views of ITV content in January alone.

Virgin Media continues to grow its HD line-up with HD channels from the BBC and Channel 4 available to all Virgin TV customers, while those from ESPN, FX, MTV Networks, National Geographic and LIVING (a Virgin Media exclusive) are included within the ‘XL’ TV package for no extra charge. Forthcoming HD channels from Eurosport, Discovery and E4 will be added to the ‘XL’ tier this spring, while Film4 HD (another Virgin Media exclusive) will be made available within all paid-for TV tiers.

This is the fifth new HD channel Virgin Media has announced this year and the company plans to reveal more details about further launches in the coming months.

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 with Virgin Media’s huge TV Choice on Demand archive.

For more information on Virgin Media products and services visit:

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Notes to editors

Unlike 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 Media

With 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 was the first 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).

Copyright Business Wire 2010