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Pioneer Becomes High Definition Sponsor of ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD College Football.

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- To the delight of college football fans nationwide, Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. today announces its exclusive multiplatform sponsorship of the ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD college football telecasts. The agreement means that for the first time in their broadcast histories both channels will now air more than 100 live games in high definition resolution, enabling viewers to enjoy the fine detail and picture clarity that makes HDTV so desirable.

The comprehensive agreement provides Pioneer high profile exposure on both ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD, placement throughout the sports channel's website with exclusive sponsorship of ESPN.com's College Football Play-by-Play, as well as the new online high-resolution photo gallery, ZOOM. Pioneer also receives positioning in all TV scheduling web pages on the site. In addition, consumers will be able to view Pioneer's new PureVision(TM) plasma advertising campaign in ESPN The Magazine. The contract was negotiated by Pioneer's home entertainment advertising agency, RPA, the largest independent advertising agency based on the West Coast.

"High definition, like college football, is about bringing excitement to the public. ESPN's dedication to showcasing college football is in perfect alignment with our commitment to delivering the ultimate HD experience; so it became a natural fit for us to join forces," said Russ Johnston, senior vice president of marketing and product planning for home entertainment at Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. "Our new PureVision(TM) plasma TVs bring the gridiron action to life showcasing razor sharp detail and fast action accuracy that allows fans at home to call the game before the on-field referees."

Pioneer is a known leader in high definition televisions and currently markets Pioneer and Elite(R) televisions ranging in size from 42 to 60 inches diagonal. Pioneer's engineering team is passionate about continually developing and improving its proprietary technologies to create even brighter, sharper images for viewers. The company was first to market with high-definition plasma in 1997 and recently became the first to offer a 50-inch plasma monitor with 1080p resolution -- the highest resolution available. The company's marketing strategy focuses on sports fans who are passionate about watching their favorite teams on the best possible television.

ESPN Vice President, Strategic Business Planning and Development, Bryan Burns added: "It is a significant step to increase our college football high definition programming from one Saturday primetime telecast a week to every game in three years. Pioneer has wisely targeted the deep national base of college football fans as the sponsor of our most broad high definition telecast package in the fall season when the majority of televisions are sold."

The 2006 college football season kicks off with extensive Labor Day weekend coverage beginning September 1 on ESPN2 and ESPN. The 2006 schedule includes telecasts every Thursday and Friday evening, as well as a minimum of five telecasts every Saturday. Fifteen additional prime time telecasts will air on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays throughout the season.

ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD

ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD will combine in 2006 to deliver over 700 major events plus over 2,000 programs totaling more than 6,500 hours in high definition featuring live programming, individual programs, movies and series from ESPN Original Entertainment plus news and information programming. Event telecasts will include a variety of match-ups from college football, the men's and women's College World Series, the Little League World Series, Major League Baseball, men's and women's college basketball, the National Basketball Association, Monday Night Football from the National Football League, the Women's Final Four, the Men's Lacrosse Final Four, the National Finals Rodeo, the National Hot Rod Association, the NCAA Frozen Four (hockey championships) and the FIFA World Cup from Germany. ESPN Bristol-based high-definition news and information programs include -- "SportsCenter," "NFL Countdown," "NFL PrimeTime," "NFL Live," "Monday Night Countdown" and "Baseball Tonight."

Pioneer's Home Entertainment Division is a leading manufacturer of plasma televisions and monitors, Blu-ray Disc and DVD products, A/V receivers, speakers and other audio and video accessories. Its focus is on the development of new digital technologies including Digital Network Entertainment(TM). The company markets its products under the Pioneer and Pioneer Elite(R) brand names. When purchased from an authorized dealer, consumers receive a limited warranty for one year with Pioneer products and two years with Pioneer Elite products.

Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. is headquartered in Long Beach, Calif., and its U.S. Web address is www.pioneerelectronics.com. Its parent company, Pioneer Corporation, is a leader in optical disc technology and a preeminent manufacturer of high-performance audio, video and computer equipment for the home, car and business markets. The company focuses on four core business domains including Blu-ray Disc and DVD, display technologies, navigation and Digital Network Entertainment(TM).
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Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Sep 1, 2006
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