Three years ago, ESPN vice president for technology Chuck Pagano said the network was preparing for a “3D tsunami” in the television industry as it prepared to launch its first channel dedicated to the technology.
Maybe he was wearing beer goggles at the time of that prediction.
Acting with due-diligence, a dedication to shareholders and probably some dread — how’s that for 3 “D”s? — the company said today it would stop broadcasting in 3D by the end of the year because viewership was not supporting the costs in producing the separate feeds as well as the lack of purchases for 3D capable sets that come with the need to wear special viewing glasses.
An ESPN statement said it was committing its 3D resources “to other products and services that will better serve fans and affiliates.” It also said it would continue to experiment more in Ultra High Definition production.
ESPN, with Sony as a primary sponsor, covered the 2010 World Cup from South Africa as its first 3D event, then did the MLB’s Home Run Derby from Angels Stadium in July, 2010 as its first major production in the U.S. The Summer X Games in L.A. also became an intensive 3D project, leading to a movie that appeared for a time in theaters. Most the 3D buzz at the time was created by the release of the movie “Avatar.”
At the time of ESPN’s 3D initial venture, the company said in a statement attributed to president George Bodenheimer: “ESPN’s commitment to 3D is a win for fans and our business partners. ESPN 3D marries great content with new technology to enhance the fan’s viewing experience and puts ESPN at the forefront of the next big advance for TV viewing.”
The Associated Press notes that only two percent of TVs in the U.S. are able to show 3D programming, based on data from research firm IHS Screen Digest. The wire service also cited that optometrists contend that as one in four viewers have problems watching 3D movies and TV because of eye strain or problems with depth perception.
The updated odds provided today by Las Vegas-based Bovada:
St. Louis pitcher Shelby Miller: 1/1
Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig: 3/2
Dodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu: 5/1
Miami outfielder Marcell Ozuna: 10/1
San Diego second baseman Jedd Gyorko: 20/1
Atlanta pitcher Julio Teheran: 25/1
UPDATED: 06/11/13: The week ahead on the sports calendar, like it or not:
(Colin Kerrigan / Philly.com)
GOLF: 113th U.S. OPEN, at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., Thursday-Sunday, ESPN and Channel 4: Often those who compete in this annual event of over-par frustration end up being labeled as basket cases. Perhaps it’s appropriate that this club outside of Philadelphia will play host to the annual Open, as Merion’s tradition is to put red wicker baskets on top of heavy metal flagsticks, so the players have no way to figure out which way the wind is blowing up there. Some have said they look like Q-tips on steroids atop the poles. Maybe it looks more like a Frisbee golf course. Yet, their origin is a mystery. Red baskets mean a front-green pin. Orange is for the back. Beige means a patron’s picnic basket full of cheese steak sandwiches was swept up in a breeze and nested up there. The idea came from course designer Hugh Wilson, though exactly what inspired him remains unknown. Another great unknown is how this course will react to such a large gathering. Not since Aussie David Graham capped a three-shot win with a 67 in the final round in 1981 has a major come to this this course, which has held 18 USGA championships, the most of any golf course. Because of the 32-year wait, only 11 players who qualified for this year’s event have played competitive rounds on the course. That includes Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker (from the 1989 U.S. Amateur) and Rickie Fowler (from the 2009 Walker Cup). Tiger Woods, whose last major was the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, will have a much shorter course to attack this time. It’s just 6,996 yards on the card, the shortest Open course since Southern Hills (6,973 in 2001). Woods will go out with Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott as the featured group Thursday (10:14 p.m. PDT) and Friday (4:44 a.m.) – the three have a combined 17 major titles. ESPN (6 a.m. to noon) and Channel 4 (noon to 2 p.m.) has the first two rounds Thursday and Friday. Channel 4 has the final two rounds (Saturday and Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).
A auction starting later this month of Kobe Bryant memorabilia will go on as planned, but without the dozens of things originally involved when the Laker star’s mother, Pamela, made the consignment deal months ago.
Kenneth Goldin, founder of southern New Jersey-based Goldin Auctions, said today his company and Bryant recently reached a settlement and signed a confidentiality agreement so that details would not be discussed.
In the end, two uniforms Bryant wore at Lower Merion High School near Philadelphia and two 2000 NBA championship rings Bryant gave to his parents will be up for auction between June 17 and July 19 from his mother’s collection. Goldin also will be able to sell Bryant’s 2000 NBA All-Star game ring and his medallion and ribbon from Magic’s Roundball Classic, a high school all-star game. The sale of the last four items will include a stipulation that 50 percent of the proceeds go to a charity to be determined.
Bryant ended up suing Goldin Auctions in federal court last month when it revealed in April that his mom agreed to put up nearly 100 items that had been in her home and was given $450,000 up front. Bryant claimed she did not have the right to sell them, and reports came out about a family dispute about money she was trying to raise to buy a new home, one that Kobe had offered to help finance but was declined.
NHL PLAYOFFS: WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS KINGS vs. CHICAGO Game 3: 6 p.m. Tuesday, Staples Center, NBC Sports Network:
Go back to the Saturday afternoon on Jan. 19 when the Kings finally raised their 2011-12 Stanley Cup banner. The NHL lockout postponed everything for a couple of months, and Angelinos were getting a little anxious. Was that all just a dream last summer? Is the league doing an audit and someone’s going to find out that the numbers don’t add up in the Kings’ favor anymore? When the banner went up into the rafters, the Chicago Blackhawks players occupied the visiting bench that day but made sure not to be around for all the hoopla. When they finally came out of the locker room, they snuffed out the celebration with a 5-2 pummeling, behind two Marian Hossa goals and 19 Corey Crawford saves. “The season after you win the Cup, everyone is going to play their best game against the Cup champion, because that’s the game where you want to prove yourselves and make a statement,” said Patrick Kane, whose 5-on-3 goal started the rout. “So I think that’s what we were kind of feeling today.” How will the Blackhawks be feeling when they revisit Staples Center after their one and only appearance 4 ½ months ago? It could determine how things go from here. The series resumes: Game 4: 6 p.m. Thursday, Staples Center, NBC Sports Network Game 5: 5 p.m. Saturday at Chicago, Channel 4
You think the Dodgers’ new ownership team would considering finding a spot on their new TV network for Ross Porter? We talked about it as he prepares for calling two CIF baseball title games from Dodger Stadium today.
Porter, by the way, says he has reason to smile when he’s listening to a game today and hears broadcasters sprinkle statistics into the broadcast — something he was probably unfairly criticized for years ago.
Edward Frascino/The New Yorker
“I guess I can laugh about that now,” he said. “I used to keep a blue book with statistics on things like how Johnny Bench used to do against Don Sutton, and people might have asked, ‘What are you doing?’” said Porter. “Now that kind of thing is on every media stat sheet in every press box. And you hear the stats everywhere from Vin down, just as if it’s another part of the game.
“Maybe I was a little bit of a pioneer in that, and I took a lot of criticism for it — some of it may have been warranted — but I think my problem was that having done all that research, I wanted to get it in, and that couldn’t always happen.
“To me, the research and homework never stopped. I never considered it a grind. It really was a pleasure to do it. I enjoyed the homework almost as much as the play-by-play itself.”
Ross Porter will venture up to the Dodger Stadium broadcast booth Friday afternoon, perhaps sitting in the same spot where he last worked about 8 ½ years ago.
The statistical probably of this happening? It’s likely that only Porter could give you the correct numbers on that.
When his contract was ridiculously not renewed by the Dodgers and then-owner Frank McCourt after the 2004 season, thus ending a 28-year run with the team as its No. 2 TV and radio voice next to Vin Scully and another decade-plus as the “DodgerTalk” post-game host, Porter wasn’t about to just go away to his Calabasas home and become the retiring type.
The 74-year-old has stayed busy on various broadcasting projects and finds himself returning to the stadium today as an employee of Fox Sports West. Executive producer Tom Feuer hired him to call today’s CIF Southern Section Division III title game between Mira Costa and Serra (2 p.m.) as well as the Division II championship between Cypress and Temecula Valley (5 p.m.), both of which will stream on the FoxSportsWest.com Prep Zone online platform.
“I think it’s going to be a really interesting experience,” Porter said Thursday. “I’m just happy to have the opportunity and I’m really looking forward to it.
Ian Eagle’sentertainment pedigree would seem to make the CBS sportscaster a natural for the network to try a possible new series called “Stars on Sports,” which gets its first test run Saturday at 11 a.m. on KCBS Channel 2.
Eagle’s father, Jack, was a standup comedian who appeared in more than 50 TV commercials, best remembered in the role of Brother Dominic, the beleaguered monk in the Xerox commercials. His mother, Monica Maris, was a singer and actress who played Judy Garland in the long running Las Vegas legends show.
“For me, this was a perfect way to blend sports and entertainment into an interview format, and I don’t think there’s anything out there quite like it on a national level,” said Eagle, whose sitdowns with “NCIS” star LL Cool J and actor Ethan Hawke fills the first hour-long installment of the “Stars on Sports” show. Continue reading →
Jered Weaver made 86 pitches in his first game for the Angels since April 6, and came out on the winning end of a 4-3 decision over the Dodgers on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
ANAHEIM — Jered Weaver had been perfect through four innings Wednesday night in his first game off the disabled list. But as things can happen, he was all of the sudden boxed into a corner and feeling like an underachiever against the Dodgers.
The Angels’ no-nonsense ace, having spent the last seven weeks trying to speed-mend a fractured left elbow, had not only lost his string of 12 straight batters set down once the fifth inning started, but now his shutout was gone and the Dodgers’ No. 8 hitter, A.J. Ellis, just dropped a single to left field.
“What the (bleep)’s going on here?” Weaver was caught verbalizing by the TV cameras, deftly translated by Vin Scully.