Wal-Mart to Push HD on Monday Night Football

Mega-retailer Wal-Mart, which has revised and tweaked its ad campaign in recent months to appeal to higher income consumers and to combat widespread criticism of its employment procedures, this week, disclosed a multimedia marketing deal with ESPN to promote its HD products during "NFL Monday Night Football" in North America, starting Monday, Sept. 11.

Disney, which owns ESPN and ABC, is moving the weekly NFL games to the cable sports net from the broadcast network (which immediately eliminates all antenna-dependent NTSC households from the audience). According to Reuters, terms of the agreement covering the entire upcoming season were not disclosed.

As part of its HD promotion package, Wal-Mart will advertise during the play-by-play broadcasts of the game on ESPN and ESPN HD, as well as in the pre- and post-game shows. The world's largest retailer also plans to run online promotions on ESPN.com and tap into ESPN Radio, ESPN's magazine, ESPN2, and other ESPN venues throughout the season.

Wal-Mart said that televised sports are the "No. 1 driver" of HD purchases. It has been adding flatscreen plasma and LCD units to its shelves in recent months, while it continues to sell 4:3 CRT analog units.