Comcast Cuts First Carriage Deal for ESPN 3D
BRISTOL, CONN. and PHILADELPHIA, PENN.: Comcast
becomes the first multichannel pay TV provider to reach a carriage agreement
for ESPN’s planned 3D channel. Comcast has announced it will carry ESPN 3D on
its Digital Cable tiers, becoming the first cable affiliate to sign on. ESPN
plans to launch its 3D channel in June for the FIFA World Cup soccer
Comcast has been testing 3D in various forms; it’s carried feature films in
anaglyph 3D, and collaborated with ESPN on doing the Masters golf tournament in
live, non-anaglyph, stereoscopic 3D. Comcast will provide video-on-demand
access to ESPN 3D content as well as the regular channel.
ESPN announced its intention to launch a 3D channel this year at the Consumer
Electronics Show in January. The Disney-owned sports franchise will go live
with ESPN 3D June 11 with the World Cup match between South African and Mexico.
The channel will carry up to 25 World Cup matches in 3D, in addition to college
football games, National Basketball League coverage and the X Games in late
ESPN’s previous 3D events include the Masters, a February Harlem Globetrotters
game, and the 2009 USC vs. Ohio State football game. Sony signed on as the
sponsor of the 3D network when it was announced.
-- Deborah D. McAdams