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DirecTV to air original programming

‘CD USA’ will showcase live performances from chart-topping acts
/ Source: Hollywood Reporter

Satellite broadcaster DirecTV will begin airing its first original series next year, available exclusively to its 15 million subscribers, the company said.

The News Corp.-controlled firm has given the go-ahead to “CD USA,” an adaptation of a British format that showcases live performances weekly from chart-topping artists, as well as music news and interview segments. It is scheduled to premiere Jan. 21.

Artists scheduled to appear on “CD USA” include the Goo Goo Dolls, Ben Harper, Sean Paul and David Gray. The series will be shot in Los Angeles, and will air on channel 101, and in high-definition on channel 401.

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In a bit of News Corp. synergy, “CD USA” will also partner with My Space, a Internet portal the conglomerate recently acquired to showcase established and unknown artists featured on the site.

The new program represents a shift of strategy at DirecTV, which traditionally has operated in a strictly distribution mode. The company already made a deal with the broadcast networks to give sneak previews of fall programming, and is expected to roll out interactive content as it continues to upgrade its set-top technology.