NBA All-Star Game Coming to 80 Theaters in 3D HD

The NBA has done this before, starting with special viewing parties for the 2007 All-Star event.

This February, the public across the country can finally get a taste of a live, high-definition 3D sport event on a giant screen.

After test-runs to exclusive audiences, the NBA, teaming with Turner Sports and Cinedigm Cinema Corp., will show “NBA All-Star Saturday Night” on as many as 160 screens nationwide Feb 14.

It’s the latest step by the programmer and the league to explore new venues and revenue streams for the sport.

The game will also run on TNT.

The event will be shown at Carmike Cinemas, Celebration Cinemas, Cinema West, Emagine, Galaxy Theatres, Marquee Cinemas, MJR, NCG, Rave Motion Pictures, Showcase and UltraStar Cinema locations in 35 states.

The NBA has done this before, starting with special viewing parties for the 2007 All-Star event, the first such live 3D HD transmission. The league followed with the first public showing of the technology with Game 2 of The Finals in 2007, on four 60-foot screens in the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. In the 2007-2008 season the Dallas Mavericks—owned by HDNet owner Mark Cuban—produced and delivered the first live 3D HD sporting event to a motion picture theater.

Dec. 4, RealD, 3ality and the NFL joined forces to bring an NFL game in 3D HD to three theaters. (Read more about this event in the Jan. 7, 2009, issue of TV Technology.)

The event will employ Cinedigm’s CineLive technology, enabling live 2D and 3D streaming currently to more than 80 theater complexes with more than 160 3D screens nationwide. The company expects to further expand its network to at least 150 locations in 2009.

“Cinedigm is the only company that can deliver Live 3D broadcast on a nationwide scale to cinemas,” said the company’s chairman and CEO, Bud Mayo.

Tickets went on sale Dec. 9. The announcement did not mention potential prices for the theater seats.