Light Reading
ESPN thinks it made the right call when it was among the first networks to make an aggressive push into the world of 3DTV

ESPN: No Regrets About 3DTV Tilt

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
10/26/2011
50%
50%

NEW ORLEANS -- TelcoTV 2011 -- The 3-D video market has hit a few bumps in the road early on, but ESPN has no regrets about its decision to launch a network dedicated to the eye-popping format, said ESPN VP of Strategic Business Planning and Development Bryan Burns.

You can watch the entire keynote right here:



Burns recalled ESPN's track record with another new video technology it latched onto early on, high-definition TV. He noted that some doubted ESPN's decision to go headlong into HD in 2002, when hardly anyone owned an HD set. Today, roughly 70 percent of U.S. TV homes own at least one hi-def set. Additionally, 51 million homes now have access to ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD, and the total day audience of ESPN hi-def nets has doubled over the last two years.

"We love to go first when technology allows us to serve sports fans," Burns said, confident that the adoption pattern will repeat itself with 3DTV. PricewaterhouseCoopers International , for example, forecasts that 3-D will be in 20 percent of U.S. homes by 2015.

He thinks the number of homes with 3-D-capable TVs will increase faster than HD did, noting that the cost differential between an HD set and an HD set with 3-D is "modest" -- a couple of hundred of dollars and dropping. He also likes the fact that HD set-tops already in the field can display ESPN 3D's signal without any additional equipment from the service provider.

"We do this because we love to lead," Burns said of ESPN's aggression with 3-D. "New technology seeks out sports, and with 3D it's happening again."

ESPN announced its 3-D launch plans in January 2010 and got the network off the ground about six months later with its coverage of the World Cup. It will broadcast its 164th live 3DTV telecast on Thursday when Virginia and Miami toss around the pigskin. (See ESPN Jumps Into the 3DTV Game and ESPN Sets 3D Network Launch.)

But he acknowledges that 3DTV's momentum has hit some rough patches. Providers such as AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) have already questioned the current value of the service, but some of those challenges are occurring at the consumer point of purchase. (See AT&T Dumps ESPN 3D.)

During a recent visit to a consumer electronics store, Burns was thrilled to see that more than 20 models on the floor were 3-D-capable, but was discouraged that only one of three 3DTV demos actually worked, obviously a big issue for a "seeing is believing" technology.

And 3-D is just one piece of the "real digital transition" going on with television, Burns added. The other is TV Everywhere. ESPN is also hitting that head-on with its Watch ESPN app for PCs, mobile phones and tablets. (See ESPN Pipes Live TV to Apple Devices .)

That authenticated approach, Burns added, "reinforces the power of the TV subscription."

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable



(9)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
shygye75
50%
50%
shygye75,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:50:30 PM
re: ESPN: No Regrets About 3DTV Tilt


Is there a danger here in losing focus? At one end of the spectrum, the push is on to deliver video to a wide array mobile devices and notepads. At the other end, we have big-screen 3DTV. All for the same basic content. Trying to be all things to all people is going to be costly.

Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:50:30 PM
re: ESPN: No Regrets About 3DTV Tilt


I suppose the most expensive cable channel of the lot can afford to take some risks that others can't, particularly in the early portion of new games like TV Everywhere and 3DTV.  As 3DTV goes... i'm still on the fence. I've seen it in action, and it's not bad. But it's not enough for me to go out and buy a new set for that purpose, like it was with HD. However, the next time i'm in the market for a big screen, i will probably go for one that's 3D-capable. Jeff

shygye75
50%
50%
shygye75,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:50:29 PM
re: ESPN: No Regrets About 3DTV Tilt


We've been through these act first, think later stampedes in the media business before. I agree that ESPN can afford to dabble and take a few pioneering arrows. I just wonder what margins will be like when you have to deliver your content in a dozen or more different formats.

somedumbPM
50%
50%
somedumbPM,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:50:28 PM
re: ESPN: No Regrets About 3DTV Tilt


Of all the people I know, there is one that enjoys watching entertainment in 3D vs 2D in its current iteration. 


Saying x% of TVs are 3D capable does not mean that the owners desire 3D content.  Many times there is not a 2D option of the same design. 


These marketing numbers remind me of Vista usage numbers.  What was the first thing everyone did with a machine they received having Vista pre-installed?  Wipe the drive and install XP of course -they were even willing to pay to do so.

paolo.franzoi
50%
50%
paolo.franzoi,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:50:27 PM
re: ESPN: No Regrets About 3DTV Tilt


"What was the first thing everyone did with a machine they received having Vista pre-installed?"



Not true...I ran Vista with UAC turned to the max for several years.


 


seven


 

Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:50:26 PM
re: ESPN: No Regrets About 3DTV Tilt


My personal laptop still runs Vista.. .but not because i like it. I've just been too lazy to change out the OS. So not the first thing I did, but I'll get around to it. JB

Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:50:24 PM
re: ESPN: No Regrets About 3DTV Tilt


To the 3D point, I'd agree that many people aren't buying new TVs just for the 3D component... they're in the market for a new TV and might pay that premium for the 3D piece, something i might consider.  At some point in the next couple of years I'd be surprised if 3D support became a standard feature in most new TVs in the way that HD is now.  That will seed the market whether the market is really demanding it.  JB

somedumbPM
50%
50%
somedumbPM,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:50:24 PM
re: ESPN: No Regrets About 3DTV Tilt


OK, OK I should have said everyone I know.........I guess I hang with a bunch of geeks that are known to squeeze every bit of performance out of their gear that they can!


That being said I assume that your responses to my Vista comment and lack of comment to the 3D portion means that your observations are similar.

craigleddy
50%
50%
craigleddy,
User Rank: Blogger
12/5/2012 | 4:50:22 PM
re: ESPN: No Regrets About 3DTV Tilt


Yes, CE manufacturers will seek to foist 3DTV upon you by baking it into more of their large display HDTVs, along with broadband conectivity too (smartTV). Then they can say that consumers are buying 3DTVs, but how many consumers will actually be using the feature? It can be a cool effect for certain programming, but it makes me queasy. ESPN is known to be working hard to maximize the 3DTV effect with sports -- and minimize the potential that it will make you barf!   

Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Light Reedy
Numbers Are In: LR's 2014 Salary Survey

7|24|14   |   1:25   |   (7) comments


Our fourth annual Salary Survey paints a picture of who's hiring, firing, earning, and yearning for a change in the telecom industry.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving the Network Transformation

7|23|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


Intel's Sandra Rivera discusses network transformation and how Intel technologies, programs, and standards body efforts have helped the industry migration to SDN and NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed NFV-Based Business Services by RAD

7|18|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


With the ETSI-approved Distributed NFV PoC running in the background, RAD's CEO, Dror Bin, talks about why D-NFV makes compelling sense for service providers, and about the dollars and cents RAD is putting behind D-NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
MRV – Accelerating Packet Optical Convergence

7|15|14   |   6:06   |   (0) comments


Giving you network insight to make your network smarter.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV-Enabled Ethernet for Generating New Revenues

7|15|14   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Cyan's Planet Orchestrate allows service providers and their end-customers to activate software-based capabilities such as firewalls and encryption on top of existing Ethernet services in just minutes.
LRTV Custom TV
Symkloud NVF-Ready Video Transcoding, Big Data

7|9|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Kontron and ISV partner Vantrix demonstrate high-performance video transcoding and data analytic solutions on same 2U standard platform that is ready for SDN and NFV deployments made by mobile, cable and cloud operators.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Evolving Role of Hybrid Video for Competitive Success

7|4|14   |   4:09   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's Global Analysts Summit in Shenzhen, China, Steven C. Hawley from TV Strategies speaks to us about the evolving role of hybrid video for competitive success.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How CSPs Leverage Big Data in the Digital Economy

7|4|14   |   4:48   |   (2) comments


Justin van der Lande from Analysys Mason shares with us his views on how telecom operators can leverage customer asset monetization with big data. His discusses the current status of big data applications and the challenges and opportunities for telecom operators in the digital economy era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerator for Digital Business – Future Oriented BSS

7|4|14   |   3:08   |   (0) comments


Mobile and internet are becoming intertwined; IT and CT are integrating; and leading CSPs have begun to transform to information service and entertainment providers. How should the BSS system evolve to enable this transformation? Karl Whitelock, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, shares his views.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Packet Design asks network professionals how they handle the cloud, SDN, and network management.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
Is Windstream Boldly Setting a New Trend?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/29/2014
Sprint, T-Mobile: The Price War's On
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 7/30/2014
Pics From Comic-Con -- Honest!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/30/2014
If Not Muni Networks, Then What?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/28/2014
Verizon Applies 3G Throttling Policy to LTE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 7/25/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed