ESPN beefs up HD content

Posted by Mark Raby

Bristol (CT) - ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD are going to be offering more high definition content this year than any previous year due to new investments in HD technology, reports the Associated Press.

All Nascar, NBA, MLB, MLS, and NFL Monday Night Football games will be shown in high definition on ESPN's two HD channels.  Additional, Hot Rod Association college football games, as well as up to 160 college basketball games will be shown live in hi-def.

Reportedly, more than 7000 hours of programming will be broadcast in HD between the two channels in 2007, which, combined, covers more than 80% of the year.

Virtually all of ESPN's original programming, including talk shows and pre-game coverage is already shown in HD, and later this year ESPN 2's "Cold Pizza" and "1st and 10" will also make the hi-def transition.

Talking to the Associated Press, ESPN VP Bryan Burns said the network could swing the cost of increasing HD programming because of the lowering price of the technology over the past few years.  "I will tell you that the incremental cost [increase] is far less than it was when we started this four years ago. Then, it was massive," he said.