Discovery channels boost ONdigital

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ONDIGITAL, the digital terrestrial television network, has gained rights to broadcast two new Discovery channels, Discovery Kids and Discovery Wings, from 1 February.

The agreement marks a breakthrough for ONdigital, co-owned by Granada Group and Carlton Communications, as Discovery ranks among Britain's most respected TV brands. With exclusive rights to the new Discovery channels, ONdigital bolsters education and information programming - a key driver in attracting the middle-class households that have not signed up to multi-channel television.

Discovery Kids will run 12 hours a day, seven days a week. It offers factual programmes exploring science and nature, and will also carry blocks of pre-school programming. Discovery Wings will present programming about things that fly including space, military and aviation programmes.

ONdigital will cease broadcasting Carlton World and Carlton Kids to make way for the new channels, but Carlton Food Network will double its daily programme run to 10 hours.

Meanwhile, Telewest Communications, the cable operator, announced yesterday that WH Smith will join its forthcoming interactive TV service, Active Digital. WH Smith will sell its full range of products, including books and CDs, and will also provide bespoke content for Telewest's Education channel.