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ESPN Zone Unveils Nationwide Rollout of High Definition TVIn time for Super Bowl XL at some locations (January 27, 2006)
ESPN Zone, the nation's premier sports dining and entertainment concept, has kicked off a multi-million dollar technological conversion of all eight restaurants to bring sports fans an unrivaled High Definition (HD) viewing experience. ESPN Zone locations in New York, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore will be converted to HD in time for Super Bowl XL, which will be broadcast on ABC-TV Sunday, Feb. 5 at 6 PM ET. The remaining ESPN Zone locations in Chicago, Anaheim, Atlanta and Denver will be converted to HD by the end of 2006.
With the number of sporting events now broadcast in HD supported by the launch of ESPNHD and ESPN2HD and critical breakthroughs in hardware, the circumstances were in place to move forward with this major initiative. Each facility will be replacing standard definition television monitors with Philips flat screen plasmas and LCD's. In addition, each of the large projection screens at ESPN Zone have been converted to be able to project up to 16 foot images in High Definition.
ESPN Zone's HD conversion is further evidence of how The Walt Disney Company and ESPN are using technology to make its products more compelling to consumers. "At ESPN Zone, we evaluate every element of our guests' experience from the moment they walk through our doors," said John Pierce, Director of Marketing, Creative Content and Communications for Disney Regional Entertainment. "Our conversion to HD confirms our commitment to providing our guests with the very best viewing experience possible."
In addition to the hundreds of new Philips monitors, each converted ESPN Zone also features up to eight new HD satellite receivers, up to eight new HD cable receivers, HD-compatible routing and switching equipment, as well as 10,000 feet of CAT 6E skew-free network cable. "Given the significant amount and complexity of the audio / visual infrastructure in place at ESPN Zone, the conversion to High Definition has been much more elaborate than a typical sports bar," said Guy Savage, Manager of Audio / Visual Systems for ESPN Zone.
About ESPN Zone
For sports lovers of all types and ages ESPN Zone is an all-encompassing sports dining and entertainment mecca where guests are immersed in an ESPN experience. The concept is built on the broad appeal of ESPN and its affiliated brands. ESPN Zone offers the ultimate viewing experience on more than 150 monitors, including a high-definition big screen. In addition to expertly-prepared American grill food and over-the-top service, guests at each ESPN Zone location can enjoy more than 10,000 square feet of interactive games and attractions. The ESPN Zone concept was developed by Disney Regional Entertainment, which currently operates eight ESPN Zone units in Anaheim, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, New York City, and Washington, D.C. A ninth ESPN Zone in downtown Los Angeles will be opened in 2009.
ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD
ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD will combine in 2006 to deliver over 600 major events plus over 2,000 programs totaling more than 6,500 hours in high definition featuring live programming, individual programs, movies and series from ESPN Original Entertainment plus news and information programming. Event telecasts will include a variety of match-ups from college football, the men's College World Series, the Little League World Series, Major League Baseball, men's and women's college basketball, the National Basketball Association, Monday Night Football from the National Football League, the Women's Final Four, the National Hot Rod Association, the NCAA Frozen Four (hockey championships) and the FIFA World Cup from Germany. ESPN Bristol-based high-definition news and information programs include -- SportsCenter, NFL Countdown, NFL PrimeTime, NFL Live, Monday Night Countdown and Baseball Tonight.
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