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ESPN Kicks Sports HD2 Programming Up a Notch

Sports network incorporates HD Radio into branding, adds customizable delivery system.

ESPN is playing up its latest offering: programming content that HD-R stations can use on their multicast channels as well as on their main channels.

Tomorrow, June 7, ESPN launches the ESPN HD Radio Network and offers customizable sports content targeting the 1,700+ stations now broadcasting in HD-R. The launch coincides with the start of the UEFA Euro 2008 soccer tournament.

Unique to the ESPN HD Radio Network is an Internet/satellite-based delivery system that subscribing stations can use to customize and program their ESPN HD-R channels. Facility personnel can pre-program their stations on the Internet from the network content server. The server will also help HD-R stations data-cast clock and score information and other non-audio services.

The announcement emphasizes HD Radio technology and branding.

“These broadcasts will be available to any listener of an ESPN HD Radio FM affiliate who has an HD Radio receiver. ESPN Radio’s FM affiliates can take advantage of additional marquee and exclusive programming provided by ESPN, by airing these programs on their HD Radio HD2/HD3 multicast channels,” it stated.

The company’s Traug Keller added, “Euro 2008 on HD Radio multicast broadcasting is an opportunity to deliver world-class soccer to our ESPN Radio listeners while still providing regularly scheduled ESPN Radio programs on the main channel.”