With Hollywood talking out of both sides of its mouth when it comes to the support of 3D content, many experts theorize that sports could ultimately drive the adoption of 3D televison.
Putting aside the relatively strong ratings of the World Cup Soccer matches from earlier this year, the real litmus test for those experts’ theory could be National Football League (NFL) games.
NFL and video enthusiasts will have an early barometer for their theory when Verizon and its FiOS service broadcast the Sept. 2 pre-season game between the New England Patriots and New York Giants.
The 3D broadcast will be handled as a regional event with Verizon FiOS1 handling the production. The service provider says the 3D broadcast will be available to subscribers in New York City, Long Island, Westchester County, N.Y., Rockland County N.Y., Northern N.J., Mercer County, N.J., Mass., and R.I. on FiOS Channel 834.
Verizon says the pre-game broadcast starts at 6:45 p.m., and subscribers will need 3D televisions, glasses and set-top boxes (STBs) in order to view the game in 3D. “This is the next major step in our development of 3D experiences for our FiOS TV customers,” says Terry Denson, vice president of content strategy and acquisition for Verizon.
“Broadcasting the first 3D NFL game delivers on our promise to FiOS customers to provide a superior TV offering, including 3D, HD and VOD programming, as well as interactivity that cable can’t match.”
Unlike the movie community, which to this point has only committed to the support of 3D with mostly theatrical releases, Verizon is planning a major marketing campaign to raise interest in the game and its fiber-based triple-play services.
Highlighting Verizon support will be the company’s viewing parties at the Giants’ home stadium, New Meadowlands Stadium and at the Patriots’ home stadium, Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Guests at Gillette Stadium will include youngsters from local Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
In addition, Verizon is also working with two sports bars in the New York and New England markets: Slate Bar in Manhattan and Snookers in Providence, R.I. to provide sports fans a look at its 3D broadcast.
“We are committed to bringing our customers a consistently high-quality TV experience with the best programming available over the country’s only all-fiber network,” notes Denson.
“And there’s so much more yet to come, with new programming, applications and other enhancements that only FiOS can deliver.”
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Bob is a dedicated audiophile who has been writing about A/V for Electronic House sister publication CE Pro since 2000.