VOOM has said that when dates are announced, there will be a press release on their web site. Negotiations are almost always confidential (per a signed agreement) and programming contracts usually dictate when the provider can make an announcement. I doubt they could tell us, even if they wanted to.
I don't know why they would carry either of those. ESPN Deportes is probably the one you are thinking of, and that's a Spanish ESPN basically. ESPN Now is just a promo channel for all of the ESPN PPV sports packages like ESPN Full Court.
Yes. For several reasons. First, ESPN-HD and ESPN-SD do NOT always carry the same programming. Second, these HD channels are sold as packages. You can't BUY HBO-HD without buying the SD version. It's contract stuff. And third, when I'm watching my SD TV I prefer to watch the SD programming channel, so it isn't letterboxed.
OK, maybe ESPN HD&SD are a little different. But as far as HBO, CINEMAX, Showtime, I think it's a waste of bandwidth. Why would HBO force Voom to carry them? I understand the SD TV argument madpoet, but I don't think it effects enough people to merit the duplication. Voom will eventually run into bandwidth problems, and then dragging around 6-7 duplicated channels will seem wasteful to most.