ESPN launches 2nd channel for HD stations


Tomorrow marks the first broadcast of the ESPN HD Radio network, which will deliver sports content exclusively for the HD2 channels of radio stations. The inaugural broadcast will be live play-by-play of the Switzerland vs. Czech Republic match of the UEFA Euro 2008 soccer tournament.

“Offering content by utilizing new technologies and new distribution channels is part of our overall strategy of serving the sports fan,” said Traug Keller, ESPN Sr. Vice President, Business Units. “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.”

Using a specialized ESPN HD Radio network appliance, subscribing stations will be able to customize and program their own ESPN HD Radio stations. The network appliance (content server) will allow a station staff member to pre-program their station(s) on the Internet from one easy-to-use interface. The content server will allow affiliate stations to pick and choose from a wide array of sports content options – both live and pre-recorded – providing a simple one-box solution for generating localized HD Radio programming from an up-to-the-moment menu of content.

In addition to providing conventional audio content, the content server will also give HD Radio stations unique sports data-casting abilities such as bottom-line data, clock and score information and other non audio services specifically designed for the HD Radio system. Stations can also simplify the process of localizing content and commercials with automatic settings on the ESPN HD Radio content server.