NEW YORK – Sean Bratches, ESPN and Disney
sales and marketing executive VP vowed to keep the
“3D needle moving” as mounting new evidence indicates
consumers are starting to warm up to 3DTV in
During his keynote address at NewBay Media’s
“Connected TV and 3D” conference at the Roosevelt
Hotel here, in May, Bratches issued a theme that would
resonate throughout the morning when he said ESPN
3D is currently available to some 65 million homes,
and is ahead of where ESPN HD was at a similar stage
in its growth cycle. (NewBay Media is the parent company
Since kicking off with the 2010 FIFA World Cup last
June, ESPN 3D has now aired 106 events in the format,
baseball, boxing, X Games, football and basketball
The night before the seminar, ESPN 3D aired its
106th live event when the Dallas Mavericks defeated
the Oklahoma City Thunder in overtime during an NBA playoff thriller.
Looking ahead, Bratches said ESPN is
planning 3D coverage of the NBA Finals,
five boxing matches, MLB’s Home Run Derby
and a couple of soccer matches involving
Real Madrid versus MLS teams in the
“World Football Challenge” this July.
the industries to unite
behind the further
growth and development
of 3D technology,
pointing to double-
digit advances in
and an expected fivefold
increase in the
number of 3D sets
to be sold in 2011,
helped along by dropping
price points and the release of 33 3D
theatrical releases this year.
Bratches further cited Insight Media research
calling for 100 3D channels to be
available globally by 2015.
Remaining obstacles for 3D, he said, include
40 percent of consumers who are
confused by 3D technology, and 70 percent
who are deterred by a perceived lack of
ESPN and others continue to seek out
methods to reduce production costs in order
to ramp up the amount of 3D content.
“At ESPN, it’s our intention to keep the
needle moving,” he said.
Concerning connected TV technologies
Bratches said ESPN is at work on developing
Internet TV content as well.
“At ESPN we are and have been technology
agnostic. We serve all comers, whether
its satellite, whether its telco, whether its
cable, and we analyze new opportunities
virtually every day,” Bratches said. “We’ve
always been on the forefront of new technologies.
So with connected television or
any new technology, we are always looking
for new ways to fulfill our mission to serve
sports fans and grow our business, and we
try to do that better every single day.”