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ESPN and Discovery To Launch 3D TV Networks

ESPN and Discovery Communications announced plans Tuesday to launch the industry's first 3D television networks.

The sports network plans to launch the 3D channel in June around its coverage of World Cup Soccer.

The channel will not operate 24 hours a day, however, it promises to broadcast 85 live sporting events in 3D the first year.

Its first broadcast will be the first 2010 FIFA World Cup match, South Africa vs. Mexico, on June 11.

"ESPN's commitment to 3D is a win for fans and our business partners," says ESPN president George Bodenheimer.

"ESPN 3D marries great content with new technology to enhance the fan's viewing experience and puts ESPN at the forefront of the next big advance for TV viewing."

Meanwhile, Discovery Communications, Sony and IMAX are partnering to launch their own 3D network in 2011. The channel will be programmed with a combination of "natural history, space, exploration, adventure, engineering, science, technology, motion pictures and children's programming."

Major electronics makers such as Sony plan to bring 3-D TV sets to market soon. To watch the 3D content, viewers will need to not only have a 3D-ready TV set, but also likely a new set-top box, and wear 3D glasses.

No doubt the recent success of 'Avatar', which recently passed $1 billion worldwide, has helped reaffirm the interest in the technology.

January 6, 2010 |

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