New telecasts line-up announced

NHRA ADDED TO ESPN2 HD LINE-UP ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD will deliver affiliates and fans over 400 major events in 2005 -- up from the projected 300 just three months ago. Additional HD telecasts come via races from National Hot Rod ...

NHRA ADDED TO ESPN2 HD LINE-UP

ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD will deliver affiliates and fans over 400 major events in 2005 -- up from the projected 300 just three months ago. Additional HD telecasts come via races from National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), games from Major League Baseball and the Men's and Women's College World Series. ESPN continues to target the most compelling telecasts from both services and produce them in high definition for viewers.

A total of 122 live events will be available across both ESPN high-definition services throughout April, May and June.

"We are pleased to upgrade our ESPN2 HD schedule at this early stage and offer a robust programming line-up for consumers that have or will upgrade to HDTV," said Sean Bratches president, Disney and ESPN networks affiliate sales and marketing. "With over 100 additional events slated for 2005 across both HD services, ESPN2 HD has clearly become a 'must have' in our fans eyes, making the service a real value for our affiliates."

ESPN2, the exclusive carrier of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, will offer extensive coverage of the 23-event nationwide circuit with approximately 110 hours of race action on a live or same-day delay basis. As part of this year's schedule:

* The ESPN2 HD coverage will begin the weekend of June 18 and 19 at the K&N Filters SuperNationals in Englishtown, New Jersey and continue through the end of the season.

* On two occasions, ESPN2 HD will offer coverage on three consecutive weekends: July 16-17 to July 30-31 and Sept 17-18 to Oct 1-2.

In addition to race coverage, ESPN2 HD will offer 14 of the 41 half-hour NHRA 2Day episodes, a weekly show covering the season and the crowning of the NHRA POWERade world champions in the Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle categories. The program will air every Sunday, beginning June 19, at 11:30 a.m. on ESPN2 HD.

"From the launch of ESPN HD we have always said that during the early growth of our HDTV involvement we would focus on the quality of our events versus the quantity of our events," said Bryan Burns, vice president strategic planning and business development, ESPN. "However, two years later with 400 major events across two services, our orientation toward quality has been joined by the quantity that discerning HDTV customers desire."

-nhra-

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