Sports Techy RSS Feed
Sports Techy on Facebook
Sports Techy on Twitter
| More

Sports Broadcasting Technology

AT&T Drops ESPN 3D

August 02, 2011


All you want is slap shots firing at you, home runs coming your way, and being at the bottom of a pile fighting for a fumble. That’s the plan for sports television in 3D, but that plan didn’t work for AT&T as they have decided to drop ESPN (News - Alert) 3D, the world’s first 3D channel devoted to sports.

The contract between the two companies expired last month and AT&T chose not to renew it.

“The price tag (News - Alert) for ESPN 3D was too high, especially considering the low demand we've seen from customers,” said the company, in a statement.  "We've decided not to renew our agreement for ESPN 3D.  For our customers who subscribe to the U-verse 3D Technology Package, it will be automatically removed from their bills and any charges after the channel has been removed will be credited."

Unlike DirecTV and Comcast which provide ESPN 3D for free, AT&T (News - Alert) required subscribers to pay an extra $10 a month. As a result, the company did not see enough demand for the product. Although their sports package didn’t pan out, AT&T remains committed to the relatively new 3D technology.

“We continue to add new channels and content that our customers want. We offer several 3D titles today in our U-verse Movies library, and we'll look to deliver more 3D channels and content, at a reasonable cost, as more of our customers purchase 3D TVs and tell us they want it,” said the company. 

As for ESPN, they just produced 3D coverage for the X Games which was held in Los Angeles, from July 28-31. In addition, ESPN 3D has produced coverage for the NFL, MLB (News - Alert), NBA, and the 2010 FIFA World Cup. 

While there was a ton of hype when ESPN first announced its 3D platform, sports in 3D have not lived up to that hype. Although ESPN 3D is new (it was created in January 2010), there has been little progress made and not enough consumer interest in 3D TV overall. There are several factors involved, including the hassle of wearing glasses, buying an expensive TV, and living in a rough economy.

The reality is that 3D TV is not the HDTV hit that some people expected it to be. It’s predicted that only 21 percent of households will have 3D television by 2015.

Despite this prediction, the potential for sports in 3D is tremendous, and maybe it’s just a matter of time before producers find the best camera angles to exploit the technology.