Philips and UPC Netherlands have signed a partnership agreement that will accelerate the delivery of high definition television to Dutch UPC subscribers this year -- UPC will introduce a digital interactive HDTV MediaBox, produced by Philips, for which UPC already ordered large volumes.
With these MediaBoxes Dutch audiences for the first time can enjoy HDTV, starting with the World cup football tournament in June 2006. Both companies will start marketing activities this month to jointly promote UPC HD products and Philips HD-Ready flat TVs.
Philips also reached a partnership agreement with chellomedia, a sister company of UPC Netherlands and owner of Dutch pay-TV services Sport1 and Film1. Sport1 and Film1 are launching the first HD pay-TV channels in the Netherlands in early June 2006, in partnership with Philips. Sport1 will be broadcasting this summer's international football coverage in high definition, and will later show matches from the main European football competitions as well as a variety of other international sports in HDTV. Launching at the same time in early June, the Film1 HDTV channel will show the latest Hollywood movies in HDTV format.
Gene Musselman, president and Chief Operating Officer of UPC Broadband said, "This deal means that the Netherlands will be one of the leading countries on HDTV in Europe. UPC is currently engaged in offering all its customers digital, interactive television. The introduction of HDTV and features such as the Personal Video Recorder introduce a new way of watching television. Television viewers across Europe are increasingly demanding the high-quality HDTV experience which is already commonplace in the US and Japan."