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ABC, ESPN Add Sports Events to HDTV Shows

September 26, 2002|MEG JAMES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Walt Disney Co. announced Wednesday that its ABC network would broadcast in high-definition television the Super Bowl in January, next summer's National Basketball Assn. finals and the Stanley Cup. ABC also will begin digitally broadcasting "Monday Night Football" next year, said ABC network President Alex Wallau.

Disney's ESPN network simultaneously announced that it plans to launch in April a high-definition simulcast service, called ESPN HD, which will include 100 live telecasts of select games of the NBA, major league baseball, National Football League and the National Hockey League. ESPN HD also will provide cable and satellite providers high-definition coverage of college championship basketball tournaments as well as the X Games, Great Outdoors Games and the ESPY Awards.

Beginning in 2004, ESPN HD will include most studio shows, including SportsCenter, and an additional 3,700 hours of originally produced HDTV programming, said ESPN President George Bodenheimer.

High-definition provides a more detailed picture and higher-quality sound than current broadcast formats. This fall, ABC is broadcasting most of its scripted series shows in HDTV, including "NYPD Blue," "The Practice," "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter," "Life with Bonnie" and "Push, Nevada."

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