ESPN will promote its 3D channel to full-time status on Feb. 14, 2011 -- but for now, the vast majority of material on the 24-hour feed will simply be replays of older games presented in the format.
The current ESPN 3D affiliates -- Comcast, DirecTV, Time Warner Cable and AT&T U-verse TV -- will be carrying the 24-hour version next month. Verizon has inked a deal to offer the service to FiOS TV subscribers sometime in 2011.
"The network will show replays of previously televised ESPN 3D events when the network is not showing a live event," ESPN spokeswoman Amy Phillips said in an e-mail.
Very little of the programming on ESPN 3D will be live, however. In February, for example, the network has currently scheduled live coverage of just two events: the Feb. 11 Lakers-Knicks meeting and a Feb. 25 Thunder-Magic matchup.
Comcast and DirecTV currently do not charge HD customers extra to receive ESPN 3D. Time Warner Cable and U-verse TV both include ESPN 3D as part of a premium 3D programming tier for $10 per month extra.
ESPN 3D debuted with the FIFA 2010 World Cup in June 2010, and has planned to air about 100 live events in the first year. Those include NBA games, NCAA football and basketball matchups -- including the BCS National Championship Game Jan. 10 between Auburn and Oregon -- and X Games coverage.
On Friday, Jan. 7, ESPN 3D will host a special edition of College Football Live on the Sony Stage at the International Consumer Electronics Show with Rece Davis, former coach Lou Holtz and analyst Mark May. The trio will preview the upcoming BCS National Championship Game and "discuss how ESPN 3D is changing sports viewing," the sports programmer said.