ESPN Latin America is an ESPN channel that broadcasts in Latin America, not to be confused with ESPN Deportes, which is another channel which broadcasts in the United States in Spanish. ESPN Latin America is not available in the U.S., because is not authorized to air most of the programming seen on its U.S. sister channels due to television rights affecting the programs. It is adapted to the demands of Spanish-speaking viewers, who tend to prefer football and Hispanic baseball players to the more Anglo-centric programming or athletes.
ESPN Latin America first aired in 1989. It cablecasts programs in Spanish; some of the programs are live or taped retransmissions of the sister channels ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes. Some of those programs include English-language audio on a second audio program (SAP) with commentators from sister channels of the U.S. or commentators who work just for the ESPN Latin America channel. One of the voiceover announcers who announces programming on TV commercials has also appeared as a voiceover substitute for CNBC programs like Kudlow & Company and Mad Money in the U.S.
ESPN Latin America, unlike its U.S. sister channels, has more programs related to football, such as live games from Spain's La Liga. It also airs live retransmissions of ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, the Home Run Derby, All-Star Game, Playoffs and World Series with Ernesto Jerez as the Spanish-language play-by-play announcer and other baseball commentators such as Venezuelan brothers Luis Alfredo Álvarez and Fernando Álvarez and former Puerto Rican Major League Baseball player Candy Maldonado. On weekday mornings at 9 a.m. Eastern Time, ESPN Latin America also airs the taped SportsCenter programs which air live the night before on ESPN in the U.S. at 1 a.m. ET.
Many of the TV commercials shown on ESPN Latin America are for companies from Mexico, Venezuela and Argentina, where the largest companies are based and where viewer numbers are higher.
ESPN Latin America's main competitor is News Corporation's Fox Sports Latin America from Los Angeles (formerly called FOX Sports Americas), which, unlike ESPN Latin America (and like ESPN2 and ESPN+), has a FOX Sports Latin America Northern Cone channel for the Caribbean/Mexico baseball-focused region, and another channel called FOX Sports Latin America Southern Cone for Central and South America, which is more soccer-oriented.
The Disney/Hearst Corporation joint venture has also added some secondary regional channels for the Spanish-speaking Americas in the last few years, like ESPN Dos (ESPN2) for the Caribbean/Mexico region, and ESPN+ (ESPN Más) for most of South America (Argentina/Bolivia/Chile/Colombia/Paraguay/Peru/Uruguay).
The channel is also available in Portuguese for Brazil, where ESPN also owns regional channel ESPN Brasil. An exclusive feed for Brazil was launched on December 15, 2005, introducing programming subtitled in Portuguese, ESPN Brasil programming and events commented by ESPN Brasil staff.
In November 2009, ESPN Latin America Networks (a subdivision of Disney & ESPN Media Networks Latin America) announced that the high definition version of the channel would be launched on December 1, 2009 on the whole region.
In 2011 ESPN launched a new channel for Latin America: ESPN3. This channel is divided in four segmets: Live (broadcasts live coverage of sport events), Compact (resumed sport events), ESPN3.0 (extreme sports) and ESPN Series (featuring ESPN US show 30 For 30).
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