June 12, 2013 1:00pm PT by Carolyn Giardina
ESPN Dropping 3D Channel, Eyeing Ultra HD
ESPN's 24/7 3D channel, ESPN 3D, will be discontinued by year's end "due to limited viewer adoption of 3D services to the home," according to the company.
The move had been rumored and was not unexpected.
"We are committing our 3D resources to other products and services that will better serve fans and affiliates," the company said in a statement. "We continue to experiment with things like Ultra HD TV production tools to produce our current ESPN family of HD channels."
ESPN 3D began nonstop broadcasting in February 2011 with a goal of airing nearly 100 live events during its first year.
Highlights have included groundbreaking coverage of the X Games with close collaborator and supplier Cameron | Pace Group, a 3D company founded by James Cameron and Vince Pace.
Last month, CPG and ESPN 3D won a Sports Emmy for coverage of Winter X Games 16, which involved deployment of 34 camera systems at six locations, some at altitudes higher than 9,000 feet. Five rig variations, ranging from hand-helds to robotic cameras, were used during production.
That was the latest in a series of awards for CPG and ESPN 3D. The 3D broadcast of Winter X Games 15 received a Sports Emmy in 2012, and the 3D production of the 2010 U.S. Open tennis tournament received the George Wensel Technical Achievement Award at the 2011 Sports Emmys.