NASCAR Media Group and Turner Sports will drop the flag on stock car's entry into the 3D race with the Coke Zero 400 on July 3.
The 3D production of the race from Daytona International Speedway will be accessible through DirecTV's stereoscopic, linear N3D network, where it can be viewed by consumers with new 3D-capable sets and accessory glasses, and TNT RaceBuddy on NASCAR.com.
Complementing the network's signature commercial-free Wide Open format, the 3D production will feature two custom racing feeds produced specifically for the format. The first will provide a look at the racing action from strategically placed cameras around the track designed to maximize the effect of 3D, while the second will bring the action on pit row into the third dimension.
On the computer, NASCAR.COM, managed by Turner, will complement the mosaic of high-definition-quality unique camera angles available on NASCAR.COM/RaceBuddy, with the 3D feeds for the Daytona competition and throughout the six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races televised by TNT.
NASCAR thus joins the recent rush among pro sports circuit and rights-holders to showcase the 3D format. In April, ESPN, working in conjuction with Comcast Media Center, which transmitted the action to other carriers, showed select holes in the format from the The Masters, while regional sports network MSG showcased a National Hockey League game between the New York Rangers and New York Islanders in the format on March 24. CBS presented the crowning events of "March Madness," The Final Four and the national championship game, in 3D through select theaters nationwide.
Meanwhile, ESPN3D launched June 11 with the first of 25 World Cup matches, produced by Sony. DirecTV, YES Network and FSN Northwest are teaming on a pair of New York Yankees-Seattle Mariners games on July 10-11, before Fox Sports and the No. 1 DBS provider present Major League Baseball's All-Star Game on July 13 in the format.
For its part, DirecTV will roll out a trio of 3D channels -- the aforementioned linear service N3D Powered by Panasonic, a movie network and on-demand channel -- later this month.
In order to experience the July 3 race in 3D, viewers will need a 3D TV or PC display with matching 3D glasses. Fans can go to www.nascar.com/racebuddy3D to get more information about the hardware and software used to view the 3D production online.
"At Turner Sports we pride ourselves on innovation through testing, learning and exploring new products and technologies that can better serve our audiences on a multitude of platforms," said Turner Sports executive vice president and COO Lenny Daniels in a statement. "We see this as an opportunity to showcase our marquee primetime race in Daytona through our signature Wide Open format on TNT, as well as to learn more about 3D through this unique presentation online at NASCAR.COM and through DirecTV."
TNT's will begin its coverage of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona on July 3 at 6:30 p.m. (ET) with Countdown to Green, and continues with live Wide Open race coverage, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Under this format, TNT provides continuous race coverage free of national commercial breaks and features more unobstructed race action than that of a standard telecast by using a letterbox widescreen format. Along with title sponsor Coke Zero, featured sponsors-to-date are Burger King, Coors Light, Dimension Films' Piranha 3D, Goodyear, Sprint, Subway and Toyota.