ESPN Deportes to Air News, Live Events Starting Jan. 7

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DETROIT ( -- Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN will expand its Spanish-language sports channel, ESPN Deportes, to a 24-hour network starting Jan. 7, the company announced today.

ESPN Deportes will debut at 8 p.m. ET with

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Somos ESPN Deportes, a show that will preview key programming and feature an array of Latino sports stars. The show will be followed the inaugural edition of the new Spanish-language production of SportsCenter at 8:30 p.m. ET and by full, on-site coverage of a National Basketball Association game featuring the Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors.

Live events
Following the Jan. 7 launch, ESPN Deportes plans to showcase more than 200 live events in its first year, including NBA, National Football League and Major League Baseball games.

ESPN plans to announce its advertiser lineup for ESPN Deportes later this week or early next week. The network has several marketers who already have placements on ESPN and ESPN2 set to advertise on ESPN Deportes, but also plans to introduce several new sponsors exclusive to the Spanish-language station.

In October ESPN Deportes assigned the channel's launch campaign to independent Hispanic agency LatinWorks, Austin, Texas. The first trade ads broke later that month.

"The full-time launch of ESPN Deportes demonstrates our commitment to serve the growing appetite of the Latino sports fan," Lino Garcia, ESPN Deportes general manager, said in a statement.

Began with baseball
ESPN Deportes began in 2000 when ESPN and MLB offered Spanish-language telecasts of the Home Run Derby and a small number of Sunday Night Baseball games. Starting in 2001, ESPN Deportes began offering full Sunday night schedules of Major League Baseball, the National Football League and exclusive boxing matches.

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