ESPN America HD launches in the UK and Ireland today, June 21, the broadcaster announced, marking the introduction of its second UK HD channel. At launch, 85% of the content on the new HD channel will be produced in native HD.
The introduction of the channel brings the number of ESPN channels available in the UK to five, in addition to ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Classic and ESPN America. The launch also means ESPN is the only sports broadcaster, other than Sky, in the UK to offer two HD channels. Although there is a SD version of Eurosport 2, its HD sister channel is not available in the UK market.
ESPN America HD will be available to existing ESPN subscribers who have a Sky HD subscription at no extra cost.
The expansion of ESPN’s HD offer closely follows the launch of ESPN America HD in Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden on Canal Digital. The network plans to expand its HD offer further in Europe over the coming year.
The new channel will simulcast the programming of ESPN America, which broadcasts North American sports live and as-live from the US, including MLB, NHL and NCAA basketball and football, as well as ESPN’s in depth news, highlights and analysis shows SportsCenter and Baseball Tonight.