ESPN and DirecTV in the US are to launch stereoscopic 3D services in the first half of 2010.
According to USA Today the dedicated sports network will launch ESPN 3D on June 11. It will kick off with a game from the football World Cup.*
Meanwhile, DirecTV is expected to confirm the launch of a 3D service at this week’s CES show in Las Vegas. And Discovery is likely to also follow suit with a service to launch sometime in 2011.
ESPN could show as many as 85 live sporting events during its first year.
Other events likely to be covered include the Summer X Games (extreme sports), Basketball and American Football games.
The channel will be given a year to prove its worth.
“We’re going to assess the viability of this as we did with all our businesses,” said ESPN’s Sean Bratches.
ESPN is said to have been testing 3D for more than two years.
Meanwhile, according to HDGuru, DirecTV’s satellite service will offer a mix of content recorded in 3D HD.
The company expects to start broadcasting in March.
Discovery said it is forming a joint venture company with Sony and IMAX to deliver a 3D service next year. It will be a dedicated, 24-hour channel that shows movies, nature programs and other content that lends itself well to 3D.
Sky plans to launch a 3D service in the UK during 2010.
*The games due to be played on that day are South Africa versus Mexico and Uruguay against France.