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ESPN Adds ESPN2-HD

9/20/2004 02:00:00 AM Eastern

ESPN announced it added a second HDTV channel, ESPN2 HD, and a college-sports network to its growing portfolio of sports channels.

ESPN2 HD will launch in January as a simulcast of ESPN2, and is slated to include more than 100 live HD telecasts in its first year. This will include college football, men's and women's college basketball, the Little League World Series, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League.

Together, ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD will offer viewers more than 6,000 hours of originally produced high-definition (720p) programming and more than 2,000 original programs, the network said.

The college-sports channel, called ESPNU, is slated to begin in March with an extensive lineup of live games and events. Initially, the channel will focus on Division I football, and both men's and women's basketball.

Also to be featured on ESPNU are baseball, softball, volleyball, lacrosse, hockey, wrestling and spring football, plus select high-school-football telecasts.

Some events will air only on ESPNU, while others may be carried by ESPNU and syndicated on other outlets regionally through ESPN Regional Television arrangements.