ESPN will test its 3D production capabilities with a special telecast of #4 USC at #6 Ohio State on Saturday, September 12, at 8 p.m. ET. The game will also be televised in standard definition and high definition on ESPN and ESPN HD, respectively. The production will be ESPN’s first 3D telecast distributed to fans in more than two years of testing, supplying further research for ESPN as it continues to develop best practices for utilizing the technology in live game applications. It will provide ESPN the ability to evaluate workflow operations, 3D camera positioning, transmission changes and gauge fan reaction to a 3D telecast versus a 2D.
“With more than two years of rigorous 3D research at various game sites, ESPN is taking the opportunity to integrate 3D testing in a live game telecast,” said Anthony Bailey, vice president, emerging technologies, ESPN. “The results of this research will enable ESPN to quantify what it takes to produce, transmit and enable the 3D experience for our fans.”
The Galen Center on the USC campus will show the 3D production as well as theaters in Columbus, Ohio, Hartford, Conn. and Hurst, Texas (near Dallas). Tickets will not be sold for this event, however fans will have the opportunity to win tickets to the screenings through 710 ESPN Los Angeles; 103.3 ESPN Dallas and WBNS-FM in Columbus.
ESPN will employ separate production trucks, technical crews and on-air commentators for the 3D and 2D productions. Mark Jones and Bob Davie will announce the 3D game while Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit and reporter Lisa Salters will work the telecast on ESPN and ESPN HD.
“ESPN is an industry leader in developing creative and dynamic technical innovations that enhance the experience for fans – such as being the first to launch a 24/7 high definition network in March 2003,” said Jed Drake, ESPN senior vice president & executive producer, event production. “With 44 Sports Emmys for technology, it is only fitting that ESPN plays a cutting edge role in exploring the use of 3D game telecasts to better serve the fans.”
- First use of true stereoscopic graphics in a 3D telecast
- Seven 3D cameras to capture game action with access to 2D cameras
- Various display types and transport mechanisms for 3D viewing including cinema projection, large-scale arena viewing, and consumer LCD sized monitors