Video services

AT&T Dumps ESPN 3D

Cracks in the hype surrounding 3DTV services lead off today's cable news roundup.

  • AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) dumped ESPN's dedicated 3-D channel on July 31. AT&T, which was charging $10 per month for it, said the cost of the service and low demand for it drove the decision. Major operators such as DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Bright House Networks , Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) continue to carry it. (See ESPN Jumps Into the 3DTV Game and 3DTV Eye Strain? Take a Break, ESPN Says.)

  • Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) is breathing some new life into its latest Apple TV device with a software update that lets the $99 device stream shows and movies purchased from a user's iTunes account. Previously, the modestly selling, second-generation Apple TV unit only allowed users to rent titles from iTunes. (See Will Smaller Apple TV Spell Big Trouble for VoD?)

  • With the possibility of more usage-based broadband policies on the horizon, PerfTech Inc. and Active Broadband Networks Inc. have teamed on a product that lets ISPs alert customers when they are approaching their monthly consumption limits. The product matches PerfTech's electronic bulletin system with Active's subscriber data management and policy tools. (See AT&T to Fit Subs With Broadband Caps .)

  • Roughly 85 percent of video app users say they are watching the same amount of TV or more since they started using the apps, according to a new study conducted by The Nielsen Co. and commissioned by the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM) .

  • In case you missed it, Funny Or Die enlisted Jason Alexander to poke fun at the outrage caused by Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX)'s decision to break out its monthly plans and jack up prices. Get some laughs (and some perspective) as you witness the launch of the Netflix Relief Fund:

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

  • COMMENTS Add Comment
    Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:57:30 PM
    re: AT&T Dumps ESPN 3D

    Looks like ESPN's early dip into 3D hasn't paid off quite as well as its initial HD strategy did.  I guess I can't blame AT&T for dropping it for now if 3D isn't shaping up to be much of a diffentiator given the costs of the programming and the uptake.   It's not like they can't add it later if/when more people have 3D-capable sets.  It seems that at some point 3D is going to be a standard feature in new sets just as HD is now rather than some extra bell and whistle.  JB

    sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 4:57:26 PM
    re: AT&T Dumps ESPN 3D

    So it'll mean even more channels for SD, HD and 3D? And more money each month? And glasses? Perhaps a new remote?? I can see why 3D isn't taking off, although I didn't understand paying for HD until I got it. I just think 3D is a little harder to see the value in.

    Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:57:25 PM
    re: AT&T Dumps ESPN 3D

    And 3D technology, even though it's improving, still suffers from a novelty effect, and we're already seeing that in the theater in terms of ticket take rates for the 3D version and the 2D version. I'm guilty there... I went out of my way to watch 3D versions of movies when the hype cycle was building up, and it was interesting and all, but not so much that I now find myself paying extra for that 3D experience. The difference in terms of how much I enjoy the movie just isn't all that great between the two. JB


    paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:57:24 PM
    re: AT&T Dumps ESPN 3D


    I went and saw Captain America in 3d...the best 3d effects were in the closing credits.  Really 3D can enhance some parts of the experience of a really good film, but it will not turn a bad one into a good one.  Hollywood seems bent on killing the movie business (You know there is another Transformers movie headed our way right?).




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