24-Hour College Sports Network to Feature More Than 200 Exclusive Live Events in High Definition
Bristol, CT (Dec 3, 2007) - Kicking off next year’s college football season, ESPN will launch its fourth HD service on August 28, 2008, when ESPNU begins telecasting in high definition, it was announced today by George Bodenheimer (pictured left), president of ESPN and ABC Sports. Projected to air more than 200 HD events in its first year, ESPNU HD will offer exclusive live event coverage in HD of college football, basketball, lacrosse, baseball, softball, volleyball, wrestling, hockey and more as well as encore presentations of ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD and ABC HD college sports content. The shift to HD will also allow for additional sponsorship opportunities on the network.
“The launch of ESPNU HD will give college sports fans an outstanding viewing experience, and will add to ESPN’s leading lineup of high definition services, including ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD and ESPNEWS HD,” said Burke Magnus, vice president and general manager, ESPNU. "ESPNU’s rapid growth has responded to the passion of college sports fans and we are thrilled to bring them all the excitement of college athletics in HD.”
ESPNU was launched on March 4, 2005. The network features extensive studio programming and live event coverage, including college football, college basketball and Olympic sports from over 20 Division I conferences such as the Atlantic Coast Conference, Atlantic 10, Big 12, BIG EAST, Big South, Big Ten, Colonial Athletic Association, Horizon League, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Mid-American Conference, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, Missouri Valley Conference, Ohio Valley Conference, Patriot League, Southern Conference, Southland Conference, Southwestern Athletic Conference, West Coast Conference and more. The network also has a wide-ranging, long-term agreement with the NCAA calling for enhanced coverage of 22 NCAA Championships, showcasing sports from each of the three collegiate seasons. ESPNU also has exclusive rights to encore games from ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN Regional Television.
ESPNU currently reaches approximately 20 million homes through secured distribution agreements with Charter, Cox, DIRECTV (Channel 609), EchoStar’s DISH Network (Channel 148), AT&T, Insight Communications, Mediacom, Time Warner, Verizon, hundreds of smaller affiliates and is close to distribution agreements with many others.
About ESPN HD
In 2007, ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD will deliver more than 10,000 hours in high definition including all of ESPN’s NASCAR coverage, NBA telecasts, MLS telecasts, MLB telecasts, college football telecasts, National Hot Rod Association races and coverage of NFL Monday Night Football. 100 percent of ESPN and ESPN2’s Bristol-based studio programming originates in high definition, including SportsCenter, NFL Countdown, NFL Monday Night Countdown, NFL Live, Monday Night Countdown, Baseball Tonight, Mike & Mike in the Morning and First Take. In addition to live sports programming, ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD produce individual programs, movies and series.
Photograph Courtesy of Walt Disney Company.