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ESPN's blowing out the first HD British Open


Look, broadcasting the World Cup in 3D was impressive, but since most of us here are still HDTV-only, it's much more likely that you'll check out some action of The Open Championship this weekend, presented in HD for the first time ever. Just as promised, the entire affair is in HD (some AVSForum posters say they can still detect a few SD cameras in use, so beware) this year with all four rounds on ESPN (with HD available on ESPN networks in Latin America as well, plus The Open Highlights on ESPN UK which is apparently the only highlights show of the championship in the UK that is in high definition) and ESPN3. Check the press release after the break for the rest of the schedule and details, we'll be updating our list of events still in SD -- with this and the WNBA draft gone, seriously, Formula 1, IT'S JUST YOU LEFT NOW - FIX IT.

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ESPN to Present Complete-Round Coverage of The Open Championship from St. Andrews

For the first time, ESPN will present live complete-round coverage of The Open Championship, celebrating its 150th anniversary, from St. Andrews Royal & Ancient Golf Club in Fife, Scotland, July 14-18. ESPN's live Open Championship coverage will be televised Thursday, July 15, and Friday, July 16, from 4 a.m.-3 p.m. ET; Saturday, July 17, from 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; and Sunday, July 18, from 6 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Live coverage will also be available via and ESPN Mobile TV. ESPN Deportes will televise The Open Championship Thursday-Saturday from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Photos

ESPN's coverage kicks off on Wednesday, July 14, at 10:30 a.m. ET with live coverage of The Open Champions' Challenge on ESPN, and ESPN Mobile TV. The four-hole exhibition will feature 27 of the 32 living champions including Arnold Palmer, Tiger Woods and Tom Watson. SportsCenter presented by DirecTV at The Open Championship preview show follows at 1 p.m.

Overall, ESPN will televise 93 live hours of the Championship – all available in high definition for the first time – over six days, July 14-19, including Wednesday's Champions Challenge and SportsCenter preview show, all four rounds (Thursday through Sunday), six hours of encore highlights over the weekend on ABC and the Best of The Open Championship presented by Golf Galaxy shows airing in primetime on ESPN (final round primetime encore airs on ESPN2). The Open Championship Today on Thursday and Friday from 3-6 p.m. will bring viewers up to speed on the morning's action and conclude with the day's highlights.

Coverage of The Open Championship will include content across ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, ESPN Deportes, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPN International,, ESPN Mobile Properties,, and interactive television. ESPN's production will include more than 40 cameras that will supplement the world feed. ESPN will also provide special coverage of the famed 17th hole at St. Andrews, the "Road Hole," with live use of "Perfect Path," which will track the players' drives.

ESPN's commentating team will include some of the most notable names in golf that together have amassed 14 major championships. Tom Watson, winner of five Open Championships (eight majors), will join Curtis Strange and Andy North (both two-time winners of the U.S. Open), and Paul Azinger (winner of the '93 PGA Championship and 2008 Ryder Cup Captain). Open Champion Tom Weiskopf, the BBC's Peter Alliss and the 2008 U.S. Open runner up Rocco Mediate will also serve as analysts. European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie will also join ESPN's announce team.

Mike Tirico will anchor the telecasts with Scott Van Pelt, Terry Gannon and Sean McDonough serving as hole announcers. North, Bill Kratzert, World Golf Hall of Famer Judy Rankin and Mediate will work as on-course commentators. Tom Rinaldi and Wendi Nix will provide interviews and essays and Rick Reilly will contribute commentary.

Open Championship Schedule
Date Time (ET) Round Networks
Wed., July 14 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The Open Champions Challenge ESPN,, ESPN Mobile TV
1- 2 p.m. SportsCenter presented by DirecTV at The Open Championship ESPN, ESPN Mobile TV
Thurs., July 15 4 a.m.-3 p.m. First Round ESPN,, ESPN Mobile TV
8 a.m.-3 p.m. First Round ESPN Deportes
3-6 p.m. The Open Championship Today ESPN
7-10 p.m. Best of The Open Championship presented by Golf Galaxy ESPN
Fri., July 16 4 a.m.- 3 p.m. Second Round ESPN,, ESPN Mobile TV
8 a.m.-3 p.m. Second Round ESPN Deportes
3-6 p.m. The Open Championship Today ESPN
7-10 p.m. Best of The Open Championship presented by Golf Galaxy ESPN
Sat., July 17 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Third Round ESPN,, ESPN Mobile TV
8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Third Round ESPN Deportes
3-6 p.m. The Open Championship Today ABC
7-10 p.m. Best of The Open Championship presented by Golf Galaxy ESPN
Sun., July 18 6 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Final Round ESPN,, ESPN Mobile TV
9-1:30 p.m. Final Round ESPN Deportes
3-6 p.m. The Open Championship Today ABC
9 p.m. -12 mid. Best of The Open Championship presented by Golf Galaxy ESPN2
Mon., July 19 1-4 p.m. Best of The Open Championship presented by Golf Galaxy ESPN2


* All programming from St Andrews will air in HD;
* 40 dedicated ESPN Cameras to complement the world feed;
* "Perfect Path," which tracks drives on the "Road Hole" from behind and in front of the drive;
* "Putt Zone," showing the path the player needs to hole the putt;
* Strada Crane Camera, the world's tallest camera crane providing spectacular aerial shots from 10 stories high;
* Touch screens for scoring information and course maps;
* New graphics and animations;
* Enhanced telestrator for analysis.


* Two-time Open Championship winner Seve Ballesteros' battle with cancer;
* Nick Faldo, 20 years after winning The Open Championship, at St Andrews;
* Five-time Open champion Tom Watson looking back at the 2009 Open Championship, which he lost in a playoff to Stewart Cink;
* The Bunkers at St Andrews;
* The Road Hole.


*'s coverage will include live analysis from Jason Sobel, expert opinions from writers Bob Harig and Gene Wojciechowski, and features from Wright Thompson. "Digital Drive" will offer exclusive video clips with host Tom Rinaldi and's golf experts;
* In addition to editorial content, will offer extensive video highlights and analysis, live leaderboards and scoring, the Best Ball Challenge fantasy game, Open Championship Golden Moments films and podcasts.
* will offer live coverage of all live television windows in addition to four bonus channels including Holes 1 and 18, the 17th Road Hole, International View.;
* ESPN Mobile TV will provide full coverage, including simulcasts of all television windows, updated leaderboards, extensive video highlights and player hole-by-hole performance, and alerts on the mobile Web and ESPN ScoreCenter applications.
* ESPN will produce The Open Championship Experience, an interactive TV offering available through DirecTV (channels 701-705). Channels will include ESPN's live coverage, Holes 1 and 18 and the 17th Hole (the Road hole) and the International View. For the first time ever, the U.S. audience will get the opportunity to view English commentary from the BBC produced world feed as part of the International View channel.
* The Virtual Open Championship, a World Golf Tour gaming experience which allows golf fans the opportunity to "play" The Old Course at and
* ESPN On Demand will offer official Open Championship films including from the last three Championships from St. Andrews.


* Live coverage of all four rounds of The Open Championship will be available on ESPN networks in Latin America (also available in HD), the Caribbean, Israel, Canada and Asia. In Latin America, the Portuguese announce team will include Marco Antonio Rodrigues and Ricardo Melo; the Spanish announce team will be comprised of Silvia Bertolaccini and Francisco Aleman;
* Live broadband coverage will be available in Latin America on ESPN Play including a simulcast of ESPN's Latin American television network, Holes 1 and 18, 17th Hole and International View;
* will provide real-time scores, stories, columns, video highlights and analysis.
* ESPN Extra will offer The Open Championship Mix interactive TV experience for all four rounds available on DirecTV in Latin America.
* ESPN UK will air The Open Highlights nightly at 11 p.m. local, the only highlights show of the championship available in the UK in high-definition.

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