Sky 3D and ESPN exploring further opportunities to bring more 3D sports to fans
ESPN and Sky have added to their 3D content syndication relationship with the announcement that this year’s ESPN 3D production of the FA Cup Final, between Manchester City and Stoke City, will be shown live in 3D on Sky 3D, Europe’s first dedicated 3D TV channel.
ESPN’s 3D coverage of the Final – between 2.30pm and 6.30pm – will be part of a multi-faceted FA Cup Final day that also includes 12 hours of FA Cup programming on ESPN and ESPN HD. Like the ESPN and ESPN HD coverage, ESPN’s 3D coverage on Sky 3D will be commercial-free from 2:30 until after the trophy presentation.
Sky World subscribers with a Sky + HD box and a 3D TV will be able to watch the 2011 FA Cup Final in 3D. It will also be available in the more than 1,500 Sky 3D pubs nationwide.
The 3D sports syndication agreement follows collaboration between ESPN 3D and Sky 3D to deliver coverage of ESPN’s Winter X Games 15 in February. The two companies will continue to explore additional ESPN 3D events that can be delivered to Sky 3D customers, with further announcements due shortly.
ESPN 3D coverage of this year’s FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium will be directed and designed by ESPN, with ESPN punditry, commentary, studio and on-screen graphics.
“ESPN is extremely proud to have been at the forefront of the development of 3D sports coverage, and are very excited to work with other companies like Sky that are leading the way as well,” said Murray Barnett, vice president , ESPN Media Distribution. “Sports have proven to be a driver for technology and innovation repeatedly through the years, and that continues today with 3D TV. Bringing ESPN 3D’s production of great events like the FA Cup Final the Winter X Games and more to fans on Sky 3D will help showcase the new dimension that technology has made possible.”
John Cassy, Channel Director, Sky 3D added “Sky’s 3D story continues at pace. Working with high quality channel partners such as ESPN means that we can continue to extend the choice of high quality 3D content for customers. With Sky Sports continuing to break new ground, and with the addition of the best of EPSN’s live 3D coverage, Sky’s customers are enjoying the richest 3D experience available.”
The 3D output collaboration between Sky and ESPN reflects the commitment and leadership positions that both companies have established in 3D sports coverage around the world.
Since Sky 3D’s launch in April 2010, Sky Sports has already produced more than 100 live sports broadcasts for the channel, spanning Barclays Premier League, UEFA Champions League and international football, Aviva Premiership, Heineken Cup and international rugby, Ryder Cup and Masters golf, the PDC Darts World Championship, international cricket, and US Open tennis.
ESPN announced ESPN 3D – its 3D sports initiative – in January 2010, and launched a dedicated ESPN 3D network in the U.S. in June 2010. In January 2011 it announced that ESPN 3D would begin televising 3D sports all day, every day. It has already covered a wide variety of sports, including NFL American football, Major League Baseball, NBA basketball, the 2010 FIFA World Cup, X Games and Winter X Games, and more.
Next month’s UEFA Champion’s League final at Wembley Stadium will also be available live on Sky 3D, with Sky Sports the host broadcaster for the season’s finale. This year’s Carling Cup Final was the first domestic Cup Final to be shown live in 3D.