Disney announced that it will launch high-definition versions of four of its cable networks on DirecTV's satellite service by early 2008.
The announcements of the new ABC Family HD, Disney Channel HD, ESPNEWS HD and Toon Disney HD services come in the wake of DirecTV's plan to provide over 100 channels of HD programming this year, which it first unveiled at the CES show in January.
ESPNEWS HD, available in early 2008, will be a 24-hour simulcast of ESPNEWS that will broadcast from a new HD studio in ESPN's digital newsroom in Bristol, Ct. that is currently under construction. ESPN Media Networks already offers ESPN and ESPN 2 in HD.
Disney will launch hi-def simulcasts of kids’ entertainment networks Disney Channel and Toon Disney early next year, as well as an HD simulcast of ABC Family.
In addition, Disney announced that this month DirecTV will began carrying Spanish-language network ESPN Deportes. The 24-hour sports network will be available to DirecTV’s approximately 1 million U.S. Hispanic customers nationwide and to its DirecTV Latin America customers in Puerto Rico.