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DIRECTV to Launch ESPN 3D to Millions of Customers Nationwide

Beginning in June, DIRECTV Will Debut ESPN 3D with 2010 FIFA World Cup Matches


EL SEGUNDO, Calif., and BRISTOL, Conn., Mar 29, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Continuing to lead the 3D revolution by offering customers new dimensions in sports programming, DIRECTV will add ESPN 3D, the industry's first 3D sports television network, to its upcoming 3D lineup that will offer three dedicated 3D channels, including DIRECTV's newly named linear 3D channel, N3D(TM) powered by Panasonic. Launching in June, millions of DIRECTV HD customers will have access to ESPN's entire 3D programming lineup, including up to 25 2010 FIFA World Cup matches.

ESPN 3D will 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 versus Mexico. Other events to be produced in 3D include X Games 16, 2010 college football ACC Championship, 2011 BCS National Championship game, college basketball and NBA games in 2011. DIRECTV HD customers who subscribe to ESPN will receive ESPN 3D at no additional cost.

"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," said Eric Shanks, executive vice president, DIRECTV Entertainment.

"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," said David C. Preschlack, executive vice president, affiliate sales and marketing, Disney & ESPN Networks Group.

In addition to N3D(TM) powered by Panasonic, which will deliver the best 3D programming from programmers such as AEG/AEG Digital Media, CBS, Fox Sports/FSN, Golden Boy Promotions, HDNet, MTV, NBC Universal and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., DIRECTV will also offer a 24/7 3D pay per view channel and a 24/7 3D DIRECTV on Demand channel, beginning this June.

This June, DIRECTV HD customers will receive a free software upgrade enabling them to have access to the 3D channels on DIRECTV. DIRECTV HD customers will need a 3D television set and 3D glasses to view 3D programming on DIRECTV.


About DIRECTV

DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV) is the world's most popular video service delivering state-of-the-art technology, unmatched programming, the most comprehensive sports packages available and industry leading customer service to its more than 25 million customers in the U.S. and Latin America. In the U.S., DIRECTV offers its 18.56 million customers the capacity for more than 200 HD channels in Dolby 5.1 theater-quality sound, access to exclusive sports programming such as NFL SUNDAY TICKET(TM), award winning technology like its DIRECTV(R) DVR Scheduler and higher customer satisfaction than the leading cable companies for nine years running. DIRECTV Latin America, through its subsidiaries and affiliated companies in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, and other Latin American countries, leads the pay-TV category in technology, programming and service, delivering an unrivaled digital television experience to 6.5 million customers. DIRECTV sports and entertainment properties include three Regional Sports Networks (Northwest, Rocky Mountain and Pittsburgh) as well as a 65 percent interest in Game Show Network. For the most up-to-date information on DIRECTV, please call 1-800-DIRECTV or visit directv.com.


About ESPN 3D

ESPN was the first to announce an exclusive 3D network in January 2010 which was the culmination of more than three years of testing 3D television. ESPN has produced several 3D telecasts, including a Harlem Globetrotters game in February 2010 and in 2009 the USC vs. Ohio State college football game. ESPN has developed best practices for utilizing the technology in live game applications which have provided the ability to streamline workflow operations, adjust 3D camera positioning, perform transmission tests and gauge fan reaction to a 3D telecast versus a traditional telecast.


SOURCE: DIRECTV, Inc.

Posted by Shane Sturgeon, March 29, 2010 4:43 AM

About Shane Sturgeon

Shane Sturgeon is the Co-Publisher and Chief Technologist of HDTV Magazine, an industry publication with HDTV roots going back to 1984, when Dale Cripps founded The HDTV Newsletter. Today, HDTV Magazine is a leading online resource for HDTV news and information and captures the eyes and imaginations of over 3 million visitors annually. Mr. Sturgeon has a background in information technology and has served in various consulting capacities for Fortune 500 companies such as J.P. Morgan Chase, Verizon Communications, Proctor & Gamble and Nationwide Insurance. He has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Wright State University.