Comcast To Launch 24-Hour 'Xfinity 3D' Channel

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Looking to keep pace with DirecTV in the still-nascent 3DTV arena, Comcast on Feb. 20 will launch Xfinity 3D, a 24-hour channel that will feature concerts, sporting events, more than a dozen movies and original programming.

Comcast also announced that it has served more than 1 million views of 3D video-on-demand content since providing the Masters Golf Tournament in the format in April 2010.

"Whether it is a concert, sporting event or movie, Xfinity 3D brings the best seats in the house right to customers' living rooms," Comcast senior vice president and general manager of video services Marcien Jenckes said in a statement. "As the leader in 3D, we will continue to bring our customers the best 3D content available today."

Comcast currently carries ESPN 3D, which converted to a 24-hour channel on Feb. 14 after launching last year as an event-based service. The MSO does not offer 3net, a linear 3D channel owned by Discovery Communications, Sony and IMAX that launched on Sunday, Feb. 13, with DirecTV.

Xfinity3D

Xfinity 3D is a response to DirecTV's own n3D, a linear channel with a mix of music, nature and sports programs that the satellite TV operator launched in July 2010.

Xfinity 3D will go live at 6 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, Feb. 20, with the 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic, an outdoor matchup between the Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames at McMahon Stadium in Calgary. That's to be followed at approximately 8 p.m. by an MTV World Stage concert by Kings of Leon from the O2 World in Hamburg, Germany.

In addition, Comcast said, Xfinity 3D will carry movies documenting African safaris, haunted castles, the depths of the ocean, the surface of the sun, the age of dinosaurs and more, along with original programming about Chinese dragon dancing and rhythmic gymnastics.

Last month, Comcast launched HBO 3D On Demand providing customers access to movies such as Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Monsters vs. Aliens and Coraline. Other 3D titles that have been available through the VOD service include Bolt, Clash of the Titans, Despicable Me, Chicken Little and The Last Airbender.

Currently, like DirecTV, Comcast provides 3D programming to any customer on an HD tier for no additional charge (with the exception of transactional VOD).

Last spring, in a partnership with the Augusta National Golf Club, Comcast delivered the first live national 3D sporting event with the Masters Golf Tournament.

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