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ABC HD Channels to Televise 24 Bowl Games

Three HD venues--ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD and ABC Sports HD--plan to expand their program line-ups by offering 24 of the 25 post-season college bowl games from Dec. 20 through Jan. 4. ESPN HD will carry the most HD games (16). ABC Sports HD, the only broadcaster involved, plans to carry five bowl games, concluding with the BCS National Championship game from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., on Wednesday, Jan. 4, in prime time (in the East).

The first scheduled HD telecast is the New Orleans Bowl on Dec. 20, although whether it will be played in the Katrina-ravished city appears uncertain right now. (The city's NFL team, the Saints, is playing its "home games" this season in San Antonio, Texas.)

ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD plan to distribute over 600 event telecasts in 2006--including all 56 World Cup matches from Germany next summer, and all Monday Night Football games (which move from ABC broadcast to ESPN cable-DBS starting next season). All of ESPN's regular programs such as SportsCenter, NFL Countdown, NFL Prime Time, NFL Live, Monday Night Countdown and Baseball Tonight already are carried in 720p.