We’re halfway through ESPN’s trial year for its 3D channel, which launched in June with 3D coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. ESPN, who has led the early development of live 3D sports, is set to review the success and future of its 3D venture in early 2011, and Jonathan Pannaman, Senior Director of Programming for ESPN, warned that there is no guarantee that ESPN will continue with the venture for an additional year.
On the one hand, ESPN sees 3D gaining some momentum on a national level. There are more and more movies and Blu-ray players on the market for 3D viewing, and there appears to be a fairly substantial push in the works for 3D televisions this holiday season from manufacturers and retailers.
On the other hand, ESPN seems truly concerned about the high price tag on shooting high-quality 3D video, while at the same time they “don’t yet see a proven ROI (return on investment).”
ESPN is using Wide World of Sports, a new Disney World theme park to plan a week long test of 3D television technology All major suppliers and manufacturers will be invited as Disney and ESPN work to find more cost-effective ways to produce 3D content in an effort to provide itself with a return that will keep ESPN's 3D programming on for a second season.