Time To Get A New Pair Of Glasses?

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.

18 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by patrickhattrick on 2010/01/06 at 6:04 AM

    Can we just watch the 3D games in normal or willwe have to go out and get a 3D TV? And, If we did that, could we watch the normal games on our 3D TV? In 3D or not, I’m saying.


    • Posted by Mark T on 2010/01/06 at 10:12 AM

      You’ll need a 3-D capable TV. ESPN 3D will only run when there is a game on otherwise it will be black. The television will function as a SD / HD / 3-D.


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/01/06 at 10:15 AM

        Do 10 or 100 people have a 3d capable TV in the US?


        • Posted by Mark T on 2010/01/06 at 10:19 AM

          The word I saw used was “tsunami” in reference to the number of set that will be sold 3-D ready in the coming year.

          I contacted ESPN to see if they’ll be doing the movie theater route as well for this reason. I’ll let you know what I hear.


        • Posted by patrickhattrick on 2010/01/06 at 4:13 PM

          Any US games in 3D? Please say no, or I’ll have to try and get one.


        • Posted by Mark T on 2010/01/06 at 10:33 PM

          No word yet on US games, but I am guessing you’d really be able to see the lack of spacing between Rico and Junior if any of the US games were in 3D.


      • Posted by Kevin on 2010/01/06 at 6:39 PM

        And what exactly is a “3-D capable TV”?


  2. Posted by kaya on 2010/01/06 at 10:39 AM

    I figured you guys would have something on this today😉
    What a yummy development.


  3. Posted by bw on 2010/01/06 at 2:59 PM

    let’s hope for the theater route for a game or two!


  4. I never understood the allure of 3D before. I still don’t understand it. So gimmicky as to be abjectly silly. Focus on better coverage ESPN and getting rid of Alexi Judas. I can’t stand the glaikit look on his face. I would rather watch football in Spanish than look at and, worse, have to listen to Lalas.


    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/01/06 at 7:03 PM

      watching football in Spanish is primetime man. Pablo Ramirez is one of the best commentators alive. The only thing you really understand is the “Golaso.” Wonderful.


      • Posted by Kevin on 2010/01/06 at 7:25 PM

        I agree. Except for the fact that they start yelling like Mexico is going to score every times they cross into our half, I love spanish commentary. That’s sort of what I grew up with like the 2006 World Cup. I watched just about all of it in Spanish.


        • GOLAZO! is pretty cool. I like the Spanish commentary as well, but I only understand 12 words or so. Ah the days of Andres Cantor, who could yell Goooooooool for the longest time, no doubt through the power of circular breathing. Excitable chaps those. Perhaps it’s time to make that investment in Rosetta Stone: Spanish (Latin America) to prepare for the Reconquista.

          Oh and 3D is still silly. [grins]


  5. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/01/06 at 9:28 PM

    Hysterical commentary.


  6. Posted by kaya on 2010/01/06 at 10:16 PM

    I have fond memories of Captain EO and can’t see why this wouldn’t be an enjoyable gimmick. Man candy in 3D, what’s not to like? =)


  7. Posted by Kevin on 2010/01/07 at 6:50 PM

    first of all, I do not think this is gimmicky… as long as it is similar to the Real 3D. It would add some great Depth to the game, but using it for the 2010 world cup is gimmicky because I don’t think enough people will have 3D TVs.

    @Mark – I know what 3D capable means, but I meant is it a new type of TV or are there current HD’s that are capable?


  8. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/01/08 at 12:57 PM

    Interesting read on the adoption rate of 3D televisions in the US if you are interested.



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