The CBC is presenting Hockey Night In Canada in 3D this Saturday and a number of U.S. distributors will be there when the puck drops on the enhanced telecast.
In the first 3D National Hockey League telecast north of the border, CBC and Panasonic Canada will televise the Montreal Canadiens against the Toronto Maple Leafs at 7 p.m. (ET) from the Air Canada Centre on Dec. 11.
The CBC feed, bolstered by views from Panasonic's professional full HD 3D cameras, is being made available in the States via NHL Network U.S.
At press time, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, DirecTV, Marco Cable and Paul Bunyan Communications have committed to airing the Montreal-Toronto game in 3D on Saturday night.
In the homeland, CBC's HNIC 3D coverage of Les Habitants-Maple Leafs will be distributed by systems owned by Rogers Communications, Bell TV, Shaw and Videotron.
The Dec. 11 matchup will mark the second NHL game presented in the 3D format. On March 24, regional sports network MSG presented 3D coverage of the New York Rangers-New York Islanders game from Madison Square Garden.
That NHL contest was offered to Cablevision's MSG HD subscribers with 3D-compatible TV sets, as well as at a viewing party at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, so the CBC telecast will have a much wider access-axis.
Unless another programmer steps to the blue line in the meantime, CBC will also showcase the third 3D NHL contest in North America, as it is scheduled to show the outdoor game between the Canadiens and Calgary Flames from McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Alberta on Feb. 20, 2011. The Heritage Classic will be televised in the U.S. by Versus, the NHL's exclusive national cable network, which is currently discussing rights renewal during its exclusive negotiating window with the league.
Officials at Versus, which moved onto the 3D field for the first time with its coverage of the college football contest between the Oregon Ducks-California Golden Bears on Nov. 13 , couldn't be reached by press time to discuss whether it planned to offer the outdoor game in the format.