Does it get any better than Chuauhtemoc Blanco in 3-D?
Though it was only a matter of time, ESPN formally announced the formation of ESPN 3D yesterday. The channel will begin operation with the first game of the World Cup, South Africa versus Mexico. And yes, 3D glasses will be required for viewing though they’ll be different than the iconic red and blue cardboard ones from the 20th century.
Having just seen Avatar in 3-D this past Saturday, my first experience with the latest 3-D technology, I would say I am intrigued by the thought of soccer in 3-D. It will certainly take some getting used to, but adding depth to the playing field can only improve the viewing experience, right?
ESPN plans on showing “up to” 25 World Cup games on ESPN 3D which will be available in the comfort of your own home assuming you plan on shelling out the bucks for the channel, purchase glasses and have a 3-D-ready television. ESPN’s last (and only?) public foray into 3-D was showing the USC-Ohio State in a few theaters and on the USC campus. It would be great if ESPN replicated this model and also offered World Cup games in theaters, if for nothing else than to expose to potential viewers to the “magic” of 3-D.
Though this writer hasn’t watched sports in 3-D, check out this excerpt from yesterday’s Time article on the announcement.
According to [ESPN executive president for sales and marketing Sean] Bratches, the in-home 3-D experience will bring you dangerously close to the action. “When we did the USC-Ohio State game, one of the most interesting things we saw was then they ran a play to the side of the field where the 3-D cameras were,” he says. “The people in the front row [of the theater] literally stood up. They thought they were going to get hit.”
Even taking the description with a grain of salt as it is from an ESPN marketing guy, 3-D sports broadcasts will be a different sports viewing experience.
One negative of the ESPN 3D World Cup coverage is that ESPN plans on using different announcers for 3-D coverage which probably means viewers will be getting the D, E or F announcing teams from a soccer perspective. A Maradona belly flop in 3-D would also be a negative in this writer’s opinion.