ESPNEWS HD to Debut March 30

ESPNEWS, will debut a new high-definition studio and an entire new
look on Sunday, March 30 at 8 a.m. ET with the first hour simulcast on ESPN HD.
In addition, twice later that day – at 11:30 a.m. and at 11:30 p.m. – ESPNEWS
HD will be simulcast for 30 minutes on ESPN2 HD.

One notable innovation in the 16×9 HD delivery of ESPNEWS is
the “HD Sideline” graphic. This latest incarnation of the traditional “BottomLine”
will now wrap around the top, left and bottom of the screen for HD viewers.
This will allow for additional real-time information – news, scores, stats,
headshots, standings, and more – to be imparted, while still delivering 16×9 HD
video in the remaining space. The familiar “BottomLine” on ESPNEWS’ standard
definition presentation has also been redesigned to convey additional text,
headshots and graphics. It will continue to reside at the bottom edge of the

The new studio environment is larger and more versatile than
the one it replaces. There are two primary desks, seating up to four and five
people, respectively, allowing for interviews, debates and more. A new area has
been designed for anchor “stand-ups,” giving ESPNEWS HD much more flexibility
in its presentation. The backdrop of the set is ESPN’s new multimedia newsroom,
just as the former set was positioned in the old newsroom, which only served
the company’s television outlets.

In addition, viewers will also notice changes to both the
network’s look and sound. The current orange and red color scheme is being
replaced by shades of steel blue supplemented by yellow and red. The animation
package, including show opens and other signature elements, has been
redesigned. The graphics package has been fully reinvented and features
real-time automation which populates ESPNEWS HD with the latest
up-to-the-second scores and statistics. All of these elements together are
intended to express the notion that ESPNEWS HD is the center of the sports information
universe. The music has also been freshened, with the network’s familiar theme
now featuring a more modern and full orchestra sound.

“March 30 will be a special day for ESPN and sports fans,”
said Bryan Burns, ESPN vice president of strategic business planning and
development. “The launch of ESPNEWS HD comes on the fifth birthday of ESPN HD,
which jump started the move to high definition television in the
United States.
Everyone involved with ESPNEWS has worked very diligently over the last year to
prepare our first service that provides information not available on its
standard definition counterpart. This is a milestone concept at ESPN, and one
we believe our affiliates and consumers will rapidly label as a “must have.”

The debut of the new set, graphics and music will coincide
with that night’s start of the Major League Baseball season as the Washington
Nationals unveil their new stadium, playing the Atlanta Braves on ESPN2 HD at 8
p.m. ESPNEWS HD will also feature extensive coverage of that day’s NCAA Men’s
Basketball Tournament Regional Finals.

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