Verizon is stepping into 3D game production, as its local news operation will present an enhanced telecast of the preseason NFL clash between the New York Giants and New England Patriots next month.
Working in conjunction with 3ality Digital, Verizon FiOS1, the telco's local news operation, will produce the Sept. 2 preseason contest from the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The 3D showing of the game will be available to the telco's video customers in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
The Giants/Pats game will mark Verizon's third 3D initiative this summer: it offered YES, FSN Northwest and DirecTV's coverage of the July 10-11 MLB games between the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners and has reached an agreement to offer 3D fare from WealthTV on FiOS TV Video on Demand.
The NFL tested 3D coverage with NFL Network's Thursday Night Football game between the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders on Dec. 4, 2008, which was telecast in the enhanced format in select movie theaters.
3ality Digital has been involved in a number of 3D sports telecasts, including Fox's presentation of the 2009 BCS championship game between Florida and Oklahoma, the New York Rangers-New York Islanders NHL game on March 24, and the aforementioned Raiders-Chargers contest.
The New York-New England preseason affair will be available on FiOS Channel 834 for its subscribers in the New York City area, including Long Island and Westchester and Rockland counties, as well as for subscribers in northern New Jersey, Mercer County, N.J., Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Similar to previously offered 3D programming from Verizon, customers must have 3D TV sets, 3D glasses and a high-definition set-top box to view the broadcast.
Play-by-play announcer Spero Dedes, analyst Howard Cross and sideline reporter Kimberly Jones will call the action, which begins at 6:45 p.m. with the Verizon FiOS1 Pre-Game Report. The game kicks off at 7 p.m., with the telecast also encompassing 3D halftime and post-game segments.
To also give viewers a feel for the technology, Verizon, which is now the NFL's official wireless carrier, will host customer viewing parties at New Meadowlands Stadium and at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass, where guests will include youngsters from local Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
Verizon also is working with two sports bars -- the Slate Bar in Manhattan and Snookers in Providence, R.I. -- to give consumers a first-hand look at the power of Verizon's 3D experience. The company will set up 3D TVs at each location and hold promotional events.
"This is the next major step in our development of 3D experiences for our FiOS TV customers," said Terry Denson, vice president of content strategy and acquisition for Verizon, in announcing the telecast. "Broadcasting the first 3D NFL game delivers on our promise to FiOS customers to provide a superior TV offering, including 3D, HD and VOD programming, as well as interactivity that cable can't match."
Noted Giants CMO Mike Stevens: "The Giants are excited to host the first 3D broadcast of an NFL game in our new stadium. We have worked closely with our partner Verizon in developing new technology throughout the stadium for our fans, and now Verizon FiOS and the Giants will be taking the next step in innovation for our fans at home."