Comcast 1st to distribute ESPN 3D network

7:40 AM PST 05/12/2010 by Georg Szalai, AP

To launch with World Cup soccer opening game

Comcast Corp. is the first cable operator to agree to distribute the new ESPN 3D network.

The largest U.S. cable operator unveiled Wednesday that it will make the sports network -- set to launch with the soccer World Cup opening game on June 11 -- available to its digital cable customers. The partners will also provide customers access to select ESPN 3D events on VOD.

The channel plans to show nearly 100 events in 3D in its first year, including up to 25 matches of the World Cup, college football and NBA games, as well as the X Games 16.

"ESPN was a pioneer in HD, and continues to move the industry forward with the first 3D sports network," said Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts. "We delivered the first live national 3D sports event to consumers homes earlier this year with the Masters Tournament and believe that 3D sports will drive the adoption of this technology and continue to revolutionize how we deliver entertainment."

"As a leader in the distribution of innovative content, it's fitting that Comcast is the first cable distributor for ESPN 3D," said George Bodenheimer, co-chairman of Disney Media Networks, and president of ESPN and ABC Sports. "This agreement demonstrates ESPN's and Comcast's shared commitment to bring the latest viewing experience to sports fans."
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