ESPN to Launch 3D Network in 2010


3DTV_studyAccording to industry publication Broadcasting and Cable, ESPN’s plans

“will feature a minimum of 85 live sporting events in its first year, starting 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.”

Although no announcements have been made regarding which cable or satellite companies will be offering the new network, ESPN’s move into the 3D space is a major milestone in the development of this still nascent technology for the home.

With the recent standardization of 3D content on the Blu-ray hi-def format, and TV manufacturers of all stripes promising 3D-capable HDTVs in 2010, the last major hurdle in the in-home 3D experience is broadcast content. ESPN’s move, while not necessarily an indicator of what all the networks will do, signals that broadcasters are ready to embrace 3D.

The question that remains however, is what will this new format cost the consumer?

We know why TV manufacturers are pushing 3D: they need to drive the demand for the next wave of purchases now that the penetration of HDTVs is close to hitting 50% in the U.S. But studies show that only 25% consumers are willing to pay more for 3D in the home. However 67% said they’d pay more for a 3D Blu-ray disc compared to the 2D version.

That’s good news for the movie industry, which already understands the value of 3D: they have been rewarded by their investment as box office receipts for movies like James Cameron’s Avatar clearly demonstrate – it raked in $1 billion worldwide in its first 17 days of theatrical release. If Hollywood can squeeze a second layer of revenue from their 3D titles in the form of 3D Blu-ray discs as they have always managed to do with VHS and then DVD, their costs will be further justified.

But what’s in it for broadcasters?

Perhaps they hope that a new offering of content in 3D will help stem the tide of viewers who are increasingly drawn to the net for their video needs. In an era of YouTube, the need to differentiate TV from web is critical, and the advent of HD hasn’t proven to be a big enough lure so far: according to DisplaySearch, only two thirds (67%) of people who own an HDTV subscribe to HD content from their provider.

Alternatively, 3D channels may only be available as pay-per-view or premium upgrades to existing cable/satellite.

If the broadcasters do start to get their 3D acts together, our friends over at TVGuide.ca have the following advice: 10 TV Shows We Want To See In 3D

Now the question for you, our readers: Where are you on the 3D @ home curve? Super-excited? Mildly interested? Couldn’t care less?

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20 comments

  1. ANDY

    The wait is finally over, i can finally go to my grave realizing that the 21st century has arrived and 3D TV is the defining factor for me, not even the troublesome inter-net or the the cell phone is doing it for me. Yes count me in as being more than mildly excited about this.
    By the way my virus fighter picked up a virus on this page.

    Like

  2. buck wild

    how will see 3 d with glasses or just normal. could be exciting but explain the benifits of the game buck wild

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  3. Bunk house bob

    WOW…. just imagine the problems we will have now with Star Choice.

    The problems that they have with their out of date HD Receivers will be magnified 10 fold.

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    • Tom

      Good point Bob. I think renting the HD box is probably a wise move otherwise if you buy one it is liable to be out of date before you know it.

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  4. Tom

    Can’t wait. I now have a 60″ HD television that after 8 yrs is starting to act up a bit but I will put up with it for a year or so if I can make the move to 3D HD.

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  5. Chris

    I have a fascination for all things technical/visual, and 3D TV has been one concept that I have dreamed of for years.

    I’ve loved watching the new crop of 3D movies and can’t wait to see 3D in the home.

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  6. Jim

    So soon we will have another useless TV.
    Lets spend a couple more thousand for this new one and wonder how we will get rid of it.

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  7. Dan

    I couldn’t care less….. There is Nothing good on TV anyway unless you call shows like CSI etc. entertaining. Just what one needs to see, someone getting blown away in 3D. I can’t see too many people spending their hard earned money on 3D.

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  8. kaz

    Omg its about time eh….i been waiting for this so long and people relax this 3d tv is the best invention of all….just like hd slowly..slowly..all cable companies start offering hd channels, i am sure with just 3-4 months they will have over 20 channels……..YES YOU WILL DEFINETLY NEED 3GLASS

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  9. Manuel

    I couldn’t care less we already pay enough for cable or Satellite .
    to see over and over the same programs.

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  10. Brad

    Sounds pretty neat, but I’d much rather they made lcd/plasma tvs as good as the older CRT tvs first. There’s still too much motion blur on even the best flatscreen tvs compared to the CRT tvs. Eliminating the motion blur would be much better than 3d. A nice clear HD picture does make up for the motion blur, but it’s still there and would be great if they could eliminate it, instead of pretending it isn’t there.

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  11. Grumpy

    May-be it`s the stuff i did in the 60`s finaly kicking in but i somehow remember wearing 3`d glasses from the Toronto Sun or the corner store, to watch a “new” thingie on TV back around 25 years ago, it was called “3D”. Also “Tool Time” broadcast a few episodes in 3D a few years ago. I think it was a test of a new type of TV camra that “Tim the Tool Man” demonstrated at the end of the show…Did`nt cost a friggin penny..Is there no end to the ways that corperations screw us out of our hard earned $$$$ !

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  12. yeahicare

    agree with bobars improving programming like keeping local programming i am yeahicare and local programming is important to me

    Like