Eurosport is to launch its much-anticipated HD service on May 25, 2008 in time for the start of the French Open-Roland Garros tennis Grand Slam.

The channel, a direct simulcast of the existing international feed, will also have coverage of the Tour de France and the Beijing Olympics. At the same time Eurosport will migrate its standard definition services from 4:3 to the 16:9 picture format.

“Sport, especially live is spectacular in high definition; it transforms the viewing experience for sports fans,” said Eurosport group chairman Laurent-Eric Le Lay. “As the leading sports TV channel in Europe and specialists in the live broadcast of big international sporting events, it’s a natural move for Eurosport to enrich its TV offer with high definition. Eurosport will offer as much native HD content as possible and will offer more step-by-step.”

Carriage has already been secured on platforms in Israel, Turkey, Portugal and the Nordic countries, where Canal Digital will deliver the channel. Last week Canal Digital announced it was dropping a separate fee for its HD channels, and instead include them as part of its Entertainment package.