ESPN 3D To Launch This Year

When you get a press release at 7:55 in the morning, way before the press releases usually start shuffling into the inbox, you know this is something the sender wants to really promote. So I’ll oblige here. You may have already read or heard about this. At the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas, ESPN will unveil it this week, but you can read the announcement right here on Fang’s Bites.

ESPN is going 3-D. It’s starting an all 3-D network this year and if you thought ESPN HD was something, just wait until we see things jumping out of our TV sets.

Minimum of 85 Live 3D Events Committed During First Year
Network to Feature Up to 25 2010 FIFA World Cup Matches
ESPN will launch ESPN 3D –  the industry’s first 3D television network – it was announced today by George Bodenheimer, Co-chairman, Disney Media Networks, and President, ESPN and ABC Sports. ESPN 3D will showcase a minimum of 85 live sporting events during its first year, beginning with the first  2010 FIFA World Cup match on June 11 featuring South Africa vs. Mexico. Other events to be produced in 3D include up to 25 2010 FIFA World Cup matches, Summer X Games, college basketball, and college football, which will include the BCS National Championship game in Glendale, Ariz., January 10, 2011.  Additional events will be announced at a later date.
”ESPN’s commitment to 3D is a win for fans and our business partners,” said Bodenheimer.  “ESPN 3D marries great content with new technology to enhance the fan’s viewing experience and puts ESPN at the forefront of the next big advance for TV viewing.”
“This will be a meaningful step to drive adoption of 3D television sets and afford opportunities for our affiliates to create value through new product offerings, and our advertisers, who want fresh sponsorship opportunities,” said Sean Bratches, executive vice president, sales and marketing. 
ESPN has been testing ESPN 3D for more than two years. Last fall, ESPN produced the USC vs. OSU college football game which was shown in select theaters as well as to 6,000 fans at the Galen Center on USC’s campus. ESPN has developed best practices for utilizing the technology in live game applications which have provided ESPN the ability to streamline workflow operations, adjust 3D camera positioning, test transmission and gauge fan reaction to a 3D telecast versus a traditional telecast.  

I know ESPN was doing 3-D tests last year and heard they were quite successful, but didn’t think they would be launching so soon. We’ll keep an eye on this.

Ken Fang

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013. He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television. Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.