The 2010 Masters Tournament, which kicks off with broadcasts from CBS and ESPN beginning on April 7, will be made available in 3-D, a first for the tournament and for the 3-D TV industry in general. The event will be aired live in 3-D by Comcast and also viewable at the Masters web site, making it the first live 3-D broadcast of a major sporting event, as well as the first live simulcast of an event in 3-D online.
Comcast subscribers with new 3D-TVs will be able to watch the Masters through a dedicated channel that will show about two hours of live broadcasts per day. The channel, which is made possible through a partnership with the Augusta National Golf Club, will have different camera angles than the broadcast coverage in order to accentuate the 3-D experience.
To get the 3-D video into consumer living rooms, Comcast is using its fiber network to carry a 3-D production feed to its own media center, where the cable company will edit and package the feed for distribution both to its subscribers as well as to the Masters web site. Sony and IBM are also participating in helping to make the 3-D feed available to viewers.
While the 3-D feed in TV will only be available to Comcast subscribers — and furthermore only viewable by those who also have 3D-TVs — the Masters will also be available in 3-D online. Using a 3-D media player, monitor and glasses, viewers will also be able to watch the feed at www.masters.com.
3D-TVs were all the rage at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, but despite the range of new products now appearing on the market, there’s still a question as to whether consumers will buy them given there’s still not a whole lot of content available to be viewed in 3-D. But live sporting events like the Masters becoming available in 3-D could help change that.
Related GigaOM Pro content:
Are We Putting the 3-D Cart Before the Horse? (subscription required)