DirecTV is jumping into 3-D headfirst in July with the MLB All-Star Game, but first, it will help to launch ESPN3D in June with a slew of World Cup games. Of course, only those who own a 3-D TV set costing somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 million dollars will be able to watch it. I was excited about HDTV, but I just don’t care about 3-D right now. We all just bought an HD set over the last five years. Let’s all get caught up before throwing more technology at us. And I’m a gadgetophile. Anyway, here’s the release from ESPN and DirecTV.
DIRECTV to Launch ESPN 3D to Millions of Customers NationwideBeginning in June, DIRECTV Will Debut ESPN 3D with 2010 FIFA World Cup MatchesEL SEGUNDO, Calif., and BRISTOL, Conn., March 29, 2010 – Continuing to lead the 3D revolution by offering customers new dimensions in sports programming, DIRECTV will add ESPN 3D, the industry’s first 3D sports television network, to its upcoming 3D lineup that will offer three dedicated 3D channels, including DIRECTV’s newly named linear 3D channel, N3D™. Launching in June, millions of DIRECTV HD customers will have access to ESPN’s entire 3D programming lineup, including up to 25 2010 FIFA World Cup matches.ESPN 3D will showcase a minimum of 85 live sporting events during its first year, beginning June 11 with the first 2010 FIFA World Cup match, featuring South Africa versus Mexico. Other events to be produced in 3D include X Games 16, 2010 college football ACC Championship, 2011 BCS National Championship game, college basketball and NBA games in 2011. DIRECTV HD customers who subscribe to ESPN will receive ESPN 3D at no additional cost.“Watching ESPN’s comprehensive lineup of sports programming in 3D will be like having your own virtual seat at all of your favorite sporting events around the world. We are excited to be the first and only distributor to announce the launch of ESPN 3D and we look forward to announcing additional 3D partners throughout the year,” said Eric Shanks, executive vice president, DIRECTV Entertainment.“ESPN and DIRECTV recognize the groundswell effect 3D has already had on the television industry in the last few months. This agreement is the first step in providing sports fans access to exciting, dynamic content, as well as providing our affiliates new opportunities to provide cutting-edge product offerings to their subscribers,” said David C. Preschlack, executive vice president, affiliate sales and marketing, Disney & ESPN Networks Group.In addition to N3D™, which will deliver the best 3D programming from programmers such as AEG/AEG Digital Media, CBS, Fox Sports/FSN, Golden Boy Promotions, HDNet, MTV, NBC Universal and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., DIRECTV will also offer a 24/7 3D pay per view channel and a 24/7 3D DIRECTV on Demand channel, beginning this June.This June, DIRECTV HD customers will receive a free software upgrade enabling them to have access to the 3D channels on DIRECTV. DIRECTV HD customers will need a 3D television set and 3D glasses to view 3D programming on DIRECTV.