STV Unable to Confirm HD Date as ITV Promise for World Cup

Football fans in Scotland could miss out on seeing all of this summer’s World Cup games in high definition TV, unlike viewers south of the border.

ITV have announced plans to launch their HD station on Freeview, cable and satellite in England and Wales in time for the extravaganza in South Africa where they will team up with the BBC to screen the tournament.

However, STV chiefs, while confirming they will launch their own version of the channel for their franchise areas, have admitted that they might not have it ready in time for the big kick-off on June 11.

A spokesperson said: “STV is developing its own plans for HD and we are committed to providing it to viewers in Scotland. We’re not able to confirm exactly what date it will start at the moment. Hopefully it will be available in time for the World Cup.”

ITV chiefs, who are set to wage a court battle with STV over a payments dispute, have promised that their ITV1 HD station will give viewers a bigger and better picture, carrying all of their major programming.

Peter Fincham, ITV’s Director is widely quoted, saying: “All of our output will benefit from the stunning picture quality that high definition offers, whether it’s ITV’s original drama, landmark factual shows, entertainment events or our live football.”

An ITV spokesman confirmed: “We are awaiting confirmation of STV's HD plans.”