ESPN Brasil is a Brazilian cable television network. Launched in June 1995 through a joint venture between ESPN Inc. and Grupo Abril's television arm TVA, ESPN Brasil was the first country-specific version of ESPN outside the United States. Today, the network has 12.2 million subscribers. The channel has covered major sporting events, like the 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics; the 1998 and 2006 FIFA World Cup and the 1999, 2003 and 2007 Pan-American Games. High ratings and prestige in the segment have been marks of the channel; it also won the APCA award twice, in 1995 for "Best Sports Programming" and in 1998 for "Best Coverage of the 1998 FIFA World Cup".
Despite having a team that's regarded as one of the best in Brazilian sports broadcasting and important broadcasting rights for international competitions like La Liga, Premier League and the Bundesliga, major local series rights have historically not been present; the Campeonato Brasileiro, Copa do Brasil and the states' championships are held by local Organizações Globo and SporTV. ESPN, however, has purchased the rights to broadcast the 2009, 2010 and 2011 editions of the Copa do Brasil for TV and Campeonato Paulista, Copa Santander Libertadores, Campeonato Brasileiro Série A and Copa Sudamericana for radio.
Recently ESPN Brasil made a partnership with Rádio Eldorado to broadcast sports on radio. The new Rádio Eldorado ESPN used Eldorado's radio assets and the team of commentators from ESPN Brasil. It was renamed Rádio Estadão ESPN in 2007 due to a partnership agreement with the O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper.
In 2005 the company incorporated ESPN International coverage, starting to broadcast in two channels. Before this date, programs such as the SportsCenter International Edition, MLB and the NFL were transmitted directly from Bristol, Connecticut, with Portuguese audio from Andre Adler, Marco Alfaro, Sergio Cesario, Roby Porto, José Inácio Werneck, and Roberto Figueroa. Since 2005, shows and games are recorded and broadcast from its studios in São Paulo, though morning schedules continue to include USA and Latin American programs.
Prior to May 2011, programs produced by ESPN Brasil generally did not use in-game score graphics, though international programs had them. Beginning that month, ESPN Brasil began using the same score and other graphics used by the US channel.
In November 2011, 1 month to start the FIFA World Club Cup, the ESPN lost broadcast rights in Brazil with problem in broadcasts. The rights stay now with BandSports.
The Fox Sports is coming to Brazil, and tried the rights of UEFA Champions League from ESPN without success. After tried take rights of Barclays Premier League and of Bundesliga. Without success, the target now is the narrator Gustavo Villani. Negotiation with him is in progress.
In February, The Fox Sports Brazil contracted Rodrigo Bueno, ex-ESPN commantator.
In March, the ESPN'S network in Brazil started with the broadcast 100% in HD with sports events and original programs. This is the same practice of ESPN in USA. The three channels of ESPN in Brazil is broadcast fully in HD.
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