Comcast Signs ESPN HD Deal


Comcast Corp. announced Thursday that it signed an HDTV-carriage agreement
with ESPN.

Comcast said it will launch ESPN HD immediately in the 20-plus markets where
it's launched HDTV and in more markets later this year.

The signing coincides with Comcast's second-quarter earnings announcement

"The addition of ESPN HD demonstrates our continuing commitment to provide
our customers with the most robust high-definition content possible," said Steve
Burke, president of Comcast Cable Communications Inc., in a prepared

Comcast has launched HDTV to 11.5 million subscribers.

ESPN now has deals with Comcast, Cox Communications Inc., Insight Communications Co. Inc., the National Cable Television Cooperative and DirecTV Inc. for its HD service.

Comcast is offering ESPN HD at no additional fee above the $5 set-top-box-rental fee.

Some systems are up and running now, and the others are likely to launch in next 60 days. Parts of Philadelphia and northern Virginia already have ESPN HD.