El Segundo, Calif. -
said Monday that it has agreed to carry ESPN 3D to its upcoming 3D lineup, which features three dedicated 3D channels including DirecTV's newly named linear 3D channel, N3D powered by Panasonic.
ESPN 3D said it plans to showcase a minimum of 85 live sporting events during its first year, beginning June 11, with the first 2010 FIFA World Cup match, featuring South Africa vs. Mexico.
Other events to be produced in 3D include X Games 16, the 2010 college football ACC Championship, the 2011 BCS National Championship game, college basketball and NBA games in 2011.
DirecTV HD customers who subscribe to
will receive ESPN 3D at no additional cost, the satellite TV provider said.
"Watching ESPN's comprehensive lineup of sports programming in 3D will be like having your own virtual seat at all of your favorite sporting events around the world. We are excited to be the first and only distributor to announce the launch of ESPN 3D and we look forward to announcing additional 3D partners throughout the year," stated Eric Shanks, DirecTV entertainment executive VP.
"ESPN and DirecTV recognize the groundswell effect 3D has already had on the television industry in the last few months. This agreement is the first step in providing sports fans access to exciting, dynamic content, as well as providing our affiliates new opportunities to provide cutting-edge product offerings to their subscribers," stated David C. Preschlack, Disney and ESPN Networks group affiliate sales and marketing executive VP.
DirecTV said N3D powered by Panasonic will deliver 3D programming from various programmers, including AEG/AEG Digital Media, CBS, Fox Sports/FSN, Golden Boy Promotions, HDNet, MTV, NBC Universal and Turner Broadcasting System.
DirecTV will also offer a 24/7 3D pay-per-view channel and a 24/7 3D DirecTV on Demand channel, beginning this June.
DirecTV HD customers will receive in June a free software upgrade enabling them to access 3D channels. DirecTV HD customers will need a 3D television set and 3D glasses to view 3D programming on DirecTV.