ESPN Embraces HD Radio

Radio multicast services got a boost this week after ESPN said it would launch the first national programming network for HD Radio streams, just in time for the weekend.

HD Radio is the technology that traditional AM/FM outlets are making the switch to as part of a transition to all-digital broadcasts. Part of the effort is tied to competing with satellite radio services from XM and Sirius. In addition to offering CD-like sound quality for FM stations and FM-like broadcasts for AM, HD Radio promises to deliver multiple streams of content.

ESPN said it will launch the ESPN HD Radio network Saturday to coincide with the start of the UEFA Euro 2008 tournament. ESPN Radio will make all types of sports content available to 1,714 stations broadcasting with HD Radio technology, the programmer said.