Africa Leads HD Charge on TV One

TV One will screen the latest BBC natural history sensation, Africa, in HD.

The series is one of a raft of HD series the network will air over late summer.

Others include Nashville, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, the latest seasons of Criminal Minds, Winners and LosersThe Food Truck and, for the first time in HD, Packed to the Rafters, and most likely The Following.

But the 1080i stand-out will be Africa.

British critics drooled over the six-part, David Attenborough-narrated series: “beautifully shot and produced” (Daily Telegraph); “majestic and enlightening” (New Statesman); “if you thought you’d already seen all that Africa has to offer, this stunning new series shows we’ve barely scratched the surface” (Daily Mirror).

TVNZ apparently paid a premium to recapture BBC wildlife docos after years of letting them roam on Prime.

But the aggressive acquisition strategy has rewarded not only the broadcaster, which scored top ratings with its 8.30pm Tuesday natural history slot last year, including re-runs of off-peak SD series in HD, but also viewers.

Had Prime secured Africa, it would have been wasted in SD, because of Sky’s refusal to upgrade its free-to-air channel to HD until ratings justify the expense, and chances are Prime wouldn’t have aired it as quickly as TV One will: only weeks after its UK debut.

The other benefit of this is it means the Blu-ray will be released here promptly — it comes out in the UK on February 18 — whereas previously it’s taken months if not years for BBC Earth discs to go on sale here.

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3 Responses to “Africa Leads HD Charge on TV One”

  1. Have heard some really good things about Africa. It should look stunning in HD

  2. This is great news, now if only TV One would leave the mainstream cops ‘n’ robbers and reality TV crap to TV2.

  3. One excellent serious programme a week will not make up for all the other rubbish, but it is a good start. I look forward to this programme.

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