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Cox Cable to Carry 3D Masters

ATLANTA: Cox Communications will provide live 3D coverage of the upcoming Masters Tournament free to its HD subscribers, the cable company said today. Tournament officials said two weeks ago that 3D coverage would be produced in conjunction with Sony and Comcast. It will mark the return of Tiger Woods to the sport since his behavioral scandal broke last Thanksgiving. (SeeTiger Woods to Make His Return to 3D.”)

The event would have marked the first live transmission of stereoscopic 3D into U.S. homes, though Cablevision subsequently carried live 3D coverage of a Rangers-Islanders game last week. Comcast previously carried movies in anaglyph 3D, which requires red-and-blue glasses. The Masters format will require the emerging 3DTV sets that require shutter glasses.

The tourney begins April 8, though practice rounds begin the 5th. Cox said it will run the 3D coverage schedule previously announced by Comcast--beginning with the Par 3 contest Wednesday, April 7 from 3 to 5 p.m. Eastern. Two daily hours of live 3D coverage will continue through the conclusion of the tourney on Sunday, April 11. Daily start times will vary between 4 and 5 p.m. Eastern. Cox is also making 3D coverage available through video-on-demand. Comcast and IBM previously announced the availability of the 3D feed online at Masters.com.

The feed will be a multi-camera shoot produced by ESPN, with particular focus on the second nine. Sony is providing the 3D cameras; NEP the production truck. Comcast will carry the feed free on a dedicated channel, as will Cox. HD subscribers with 3D-capable TVs will be able to see the events in 3D.

Cox said it plans to offer more 3D content in the “near future.” ESPN and Discovery plan to launch 3D channels this year; ESPN’s going up June 11 with 3D coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Discovery did not provide a launch date.

DirecTV also said it would offer 3D channels beginning in June.

(Image by PocketWiley)