BBC Knowledge Has HD Hopes on Sky

BBC Worldwide Australia's Deirdre Brennan

The sale of Sky’s The Documentary Channel to BBC Worldwide Australia could hasten the channel’s conversion to HD.

BBC Worldwide Australia will turn The Documentary Channel into BBC Knowledge in March, when it will screen fewer repeats, start to phase in more Kiwi content and “work towards” HD transmission.

“We’re working with Sky on their HD plans because we do obviously have a lot of HD content,” BBC Worldwide’s director of channels Australasia, Deirdre Brennan, says.

“So we’ll be working closely with them to see how that translates to BBC Knowledge. But we don’t have any definitive [HD] plans at this stage.”

Switching to HD especially would benefit the natural history content that’s likely to air on BBC Knowledge.

“There’s a move internationally to see how we can include the fantastic BBC Earth on BBC Knowledge,” Brennan says.

“There’s more to come in that regard. It’s certainly part of the discussion and certainly look at it as part of the content mix.”

That’s great news for fans of shows like Planet Earth, South Pacific, Yellowstone and and the soon-to-air Life, which languish in SD on channels like Prime and TVNZ – the only way to see them in HD has been to buy the Blu-ray releases.

Brennan is in NZ this month to discuss commissioning possibilities with programme-makers and funding agencies.

To learn more of what she has in store for BBC Knowledge NZ, see my Onfilm interview.

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