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Virgin Media wins Film 4 HD exclusive

Bad news for Freeview HD

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The HD incarnation of "public service broadcaster" Channel 4's Film 4 offering will only be available to paying Virgin Media customers, it has emerged.

Film 4 HD is scheduled to arrive in the summer, VM said today, which implied the channel will be offered to its subscribers at no extra cost.

VM already broadcasts Channel 4's 4 HD and will begin transmitting the station's yoof-oriented E4 HD channel in April.

But the news is a blow to the fledgling subscription-free service, Freeview HD, which is currently only broadcasting two channels: BBC HD and ITV 1 HD. Its website currently says 4 HD is "coming soon".

Longer-established free-to-air satellite service Freesat likewise lacks Channel 4 HD content.

Like the BBC, Channel 4 is owned by the state, though it is funded by advertising revenue rather than the licence fee. ®

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