DirecTV To Carry ESPN 3D In June

DirecTV and ESPN have reached a carriage agreement that will add ESPN 3D, the industry’s first 3D sports television network, to DirecTV’s upcoming 3D lineup, which will offer three dedicated 3D channels, including DirecTV’s newly named linear 3D channel, N3D  powered by Panasonic. Beginning in June, millions of DirecTV HD customers will have access to ESPN’s entire 3D programming lineup, including up to 25 2010 FIFA World Cup matches.

“Watching ESPN’s comprehensive lineup of sports programming in 3D will be like having your own virtual seat at all of your favorite sporting events around the world. We are excited to be the first and only distributor to announce the launch of ESPN 3D, and we look forward to announcing additional 3D partners throughout the year,” says Eric Shanks, EVP, DirecTV Entertainment.

ESPN 3D will showcase a minimum of 85 live sporting events during its first year, beginning June 11 with the first 2010 FIFA World Cup match, South Africa versus Mexico. Other events to be produced in 3D include X Games 16, 2010 college football ACC Championship, 2011 BCS National Championship game, and college basketball and NBA games in 2011. DirecTV HD customers who subscribe to ESPN will receive ESPN 3D at no additional cost.

“ESPN and DirecTV recognize the groundswell effect 3D has already had on the television industry in the last few months. This agreement is the first step in providing sports fans access to exciting, dynamic content, as well as providing our affiliates new opportunities to provide cutting-edge product offerings to their subscribers,” says David C. Preschlack, EVP, affiliate sales and marketing, Disney & ESPN Networks Group.

In addition to N3D powered by Panasonic, which will deliver the best 3D programming from such programmers as AEG/AEG Digital Media, CBS, Fox Sports/FSN, Golden Boy Promotions, HDNet, MTV, NBC Universal, and Turner Broadcasting System Inc., DirecTV will also offer a 24/7 3D pay-per-view channel and a 24/7 3D on-demand channel, beginning in June.

Also in June, DirecTV HD customers will receive a free software upgrade enabling access to the 3D channels on DirecTV. They will need a 3D television set and 3D glasses to view 3D programming on DirecTV.

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