Discovery and ESPN announce 3D television network plans

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The Independent Online

In a move that could change the television landscape significantly, both Discovery Communications and ESPN announced plans to launch the industry's first 3D television networks.

US-based sports programmer ESPN will introduce a 3D network this summer, starting June 11. Called ESPN 3D, it will feature 85 live sporting events in the first year, including the telecasting of the first 2010 FIFA World Cup match, South Africa vs. Mexico. Besides other World Cup games, other 3D events ESPN 3D will air include college basketball and football, and the Summer X Games.

American-based media brand Discovery joins with Sony and IMAX for a 3D network starting in 2011. Though ESPN will televise first, the Discovery venture will air 24 hours everyday.

To watch 3D TV will require viewers to have a 3D-ready TV set - and wear 3D glasses. Based on the public's acceptance of high-definition television, estimates for 3D TV sales are 2.2 million in the US this year. By 2013, expectations are that 25 percent of television sales will be 3D, with another 20 million adopting the technology within five to 10 years.