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X’d Out: AT&T Dumps ESPN 3D Channel

U-verse subscribers lose the 3D channel, and its $10 fee, before X Games broadcast.

Arlen Schweiger · August 3, 2011

Will there be a domino effect, or is this merely a speed bump for 3D television programming?

AT&T’s fiber-optic U-verse service pulled the plug on ESPN 3D before the July 31 evening X Games coverage.

According to a statement from the company (originally posted on Engadget HD):

We’re always listening to customers and working to make sure we’re delivering the channels they want, while keeping costs down. The price tag for ESPN 3D was too high, especially considering the low demand we’ve seen from customers. We’ve decided not to renew our agreement for ESPN 3D. For our customers who subscribe to the U-verse 3D Technology package, it will be automatically removed from their bills and any charges after the channel has been removed will be credited.

We continue to add new channels and content that our customers want. We offer several 3D titles today in our U-verse Movies library, and we’ll look to deliver more 3D channels and content, at a reasonable cost, as more of our customers purchase 3DTVs and tell us they want it.

The price tag referred to included a $10 fee for those subscribers, which apparently weren’t flooding AT&T with requests to add ESPN 3D to their channel lineup.

AT&T’s 3D offerings still include video-on-demand movies, so 3D-craving subscribers have that going for them. ESPN had upped its X Games 3D coverage from eight hours last year to 18 this year.

So the big question now will be whether other cable/sat services take a closer look at their own subscriber habits when considering adding or dropping 3D channels, or perhaps just go with an a la carte 3D VOD choice so viewers can pay at will when they want to watch a 3D movie.

How does this bode for the future addition or creation of 3D networks? We’ll see. Sports is often mentioned in the same breath as movies when it comes to content to drive the success of 3D. At least in this case, half of that equation just took an X Games-like wipeout.

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  About the Author

Arlen Schweiger is managing editor of CE Pro, Commercial Integrator and Security Sales & Integration magazines. Arlen contributes installation features, business profiles, manufacturer news and product reviews. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Arlen at arlen.schweiger@emeraldexpo.com

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  Article Topics

News · 3D · All Topics
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