Over the last three or four years manufacturers have been pushing 3D TV sets as the next big hardware innovation. The technology hasn’t taken off though and as a result, ESPN announced today that it will be closing its ESPN 3D channel.
Katina Arnold, Vice President for Communications at ESPN announced the decision on Twitter (as noted by The Verge) earlier today. A spokesperson for the company has also confirmed the move to Gizmodo.
“ESPN 3D was great at home but due to low adoption of 3D to home, we are discontinuing to focus on other products for fans and affiliates,” she said. Arnold later added that ESPN’s 3D content is “unmatched” at the moment and that the company would continue to look at new technologies such as UHDTV moving forward.
ESPN 3D was launched in June 2010 and now broadcasts sporting events from around the globe, 24 hours a day. A quick glance at its schedule for today shows a football (or soccer, depending on your preference) World Cup Qualifier between France and Spain, as well as ongoing coverage from the 2013 X Games in Aspen.
With a restrictive amount of live 3D broadcasting and 3D Blu-ray movies, it’s perhaps not surprising that 3D TV sets as a whole have never taken off. Three-dimensional content as a whole has often been controversial – take the initial concerns for the Nintendo 3DS – and the jury is still out on whether 3D movies shown in the theater add anything but an upgraded ticket price to the overall experience.
Regardless, sports was arguably one of the most compelling and suitable types of content for 3D broadcasting. If one of the largest TV content producers is ducking out, it doesn’t bode well for the technology as a whole.
Oh well. There’s always 4K content to look forward to eh?
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