ESPNEWS HD to launch in March

ESPN will
launch its third HD service on March 30, 2008, when ESPNEWS begins telecasting
in high definition. The shift to HD will enable ESPNEWS to make the most
of the 16 x 9 high-definition television viewing area, offering fans an
enhanced viewing experience. ESPNEWS HD will also afford new graphic
sponsorship placement opportunities for advertisers.

One new
innovation will be the HD Sideline graphic, which will debut on ESPNEWS HD. It
will wrap around the top, left and bottom of the HD screen. The HD
Sideline will offer the display of textual information, headshots, news, and
scores, while still delivering a window to accommodate all video highlights in
16×9 HD. It will also offer additional content not available on

ESPNEWS
SD,
which will also contain a redesigned bottom line graphic. Both the
high-definition and standard-definition services will have increased capacity
to display breaking news and news of the day.

According
to Rick Paiva, ESPN’s vice president, creative services, “Our HD viewers
will have an unprecedented opportunity to view pristine 16×9 HD highlights
accompanied by an abundance of real-time information from all areas of the
sports world. This new graphic system will also benefit our SD viewers by
providing more information without reducing the size of the current video
display area.”

ESPNEWS HD
currently has carriage agreements with DIRECTV, Comcast and Time Warner
Cable.

For ESPNEWS, which is available in 62 million homes, the recently
completed third quarter delivered a series of records. It was the
network’s most-watched quarter ever, an average of 69,000 households, beating
the mark set in second quarter this year. This represents an increase of
34% from third quarter last year. In prime time, the increase was 44%,
rising from 64,000 to 92,000. In September, ESPNEWS averaged more than
100,000 homes for a month in prime time for the first time – 110,000. Not
only did each month deliver the biggest audience for that month for ESPNEWS,
but August set the mark as the network’s best month ever, only to see the
record broken in September, averaging 83,000 households.