Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Forget HD - Let's Go 3-D!

Today in the Wall Street Journal, Joseph DeAvila writes about the opportunity sports fans have for the BCS National Championship game on Thursday night. Close to 80 theaters across the nation will offer fans a Three-Dimensional viewing of Florida Gators and the Oaklahoma Sooners battling it out for the national title. Fox Sports has been putting 3-D to the test, most recently with an NFL game, and also mentioned that NASCAR's season opening Daytona 500 may also have 3-D broadcast.

The introduction of more regular 3-D programming seems to be the next step in television, despite having been developed decades ago. Technological advancements like High Definition Television make the high quality imaging more possible.

I find two aspects of 3-D sporting events fascinating. First, the quality of the broadcast is most-likely phenominal. Using theater surround sound, and huge projection screens would the stadium seating into a theater into a "satellite" stadium section. Second, using theaters as the destination for the watching games in 3-D may create a whole new market for attracting customers to movie theaters creating an additional revenue stream for them.

The only downside to a theater environment for watching sporting events is the environment. As movie-goers, we are conditioned to be quiet during films and not to engage in conversations. Sports fans are used to watching events in noisy stadiums, drinking at bars, sitting at home while entertatining friends, cursing the referees, high-fiving, and discussing the next play call. While the veiwing experience only becomes more enhanced, creating a similar atmosphere will be the primary challenge.

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