Television News: Masters To Be First Sporting Event Broadcast in 3D

3/21/2010 Posted by Admin

Television News

Masters To Be First Sporting Event Broadcast in 3D

By our guest blogger, Alexandra Cervenak

When the Masters Tournament begins April 8, the big news will probably be that it marks Tiger Woods’ return to the game of golf after a five-month hiatus and a myriad of tabloid-ready personal problems. But most likely all this brouhaha will eclipse something that could have a much more lasting impact, not just in the sports world, but on the way we all watch television--the fact that the Masters will be broadcast this year in 3D.

Comcast plans to broadcast the Masters in 3D on its own stand-alone channel, making it the first major sporting event to be televised in such a medium. The 3D coverage will be produced by ESPN, and will actually begin April 7 with a special “Par 3 Contest” and continue through April 11 with two hours of live broadcast each afternoon. And just in case a 3D television broadcast wasn’t enough, a feed will also be available on the Masters Web site.

Comcast will offer this coverage for free to its customers, but of course there is a caveat--you need to own a 3D capable television or computer monitor (plus 3D glasses, which seem to be becoming more stylish by the minute). However, most Americans don’t own such technology--yet!--so why Comcast is bothering with a broadcast like this at all might seem like a moot point.

But with the overwhelming success of movies like “Avatar,” 3D clearly is the new trend in cinema, so it only makes sense its buzz would spill over into television. The movement already began in February with this year’s Grammy Awards, which featured a 3D tribute to Michael Jackson that you could see if you picked up your special 3D glasses from Target (A few friends and I tried this--it wasn’t nearly as spectacular as we were hoping).

Of all sports, golf seems like the least exciting to broadcast in 3D, seeing as I am not exactly sure what it will entail--golf balls flying off the screen? Grass and sand traps so real looking it will make people want to reach out and touch them? But the fact remains that if this trend continues we may soon be talking about regular old 2D television with the same nostalgia we reserve for things like cassette tapes, and eventually stores may start stocking 3D glasses like they do sunglasses. This is probably just wild conjecture, but it’s not looking like such a bad idea anymore that I snuck my 3D glasses out of the theater after seeing “Avatar.”

Even if you aren’t technologically equipped, you can still watch Tiger Woods’ much trumpeted return to the Masters and the sport that made him famous in the first place on ESPN and CBS starting April 7.


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