Fios TV is adding to its leading HD channel count with six new original HD channels before the end of the year.
Launched by Entertainment Studios, a large independent producer of first-run content that's nonetheless hardly a household name, the new channels will serve niche markets that are largely already served by existing, well-known specialty channels.
The channels center around cars, pets, comedy, food, celebrity news and gossip, and travel. They'll be pure 1080i high-definition with no standard-def content, and will include Entertainment Studios' 15 original show titles at first, including Comics Unleashed, a talk show featuring four comics and apparently similar to the old Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn on Comedy Central; and Entertainers with Byron Allen and Kickin' It with Byron Allen, hosted by Entertainment Studios' ubiquitous CEO, who hosts several of his company's shows.
Per the press release, the new channels include:
- Cars.tv--This adrenaline-pumping network showcases the collectors, designers, innovators, and the ultimate car enthusiasts.
- Pets.tv--A television network dedicated to pet lovers everywhere. Pets.tv celebrates the pets we love and the people who love them. Pet news, pet care, pet health, and pet lifestyles.
- Comedy.tv--A television network dedicated to today's funniest comedians, featuring a mix of live concert performances, talk and variety shows, sitcoms, and movies.
- MyDestination.tv--A television network dedicated to the best in travel, featuring fun, exciting, exotic must-see destinations around the world.
- ES.tv--A television network dedicated to entertainment news, variety shows, celebrity profiles, and today's hottest superstars.
- Recipe.tv--A television network dedicated to famous chefs, amazing recipes, wonderful food, and delicious cuisine from around the world.
The lineup doesn't seem to promise much in the way of innovative programming, and will not be commercial-free, two characteristics of the now-difficult-to-obtain Voom networks that appealed to CNET's audience. To us, these new HD channels seem like too much of a niche thing: do Americans really have the appetite for more than one food channel?
If nothing else, the six new channels will help bolster Fios' HD channel count, at least in localities where they're made available, and we wouldn't be surprised if satellite services like DirecTV are considering the Entertainment Studios' channels for the same reason.
What's your take? Do any of these new HD channels seem appealing enough to entice you to switch to Fios? Has anyone out there actually seen any of these shows, online or otherwise?