ESPN’s broadcast of the recent extreme sports event X Games 17, held 28-31 July in Los Angeles, included 21 hours of 3D coverage, writes Carolyn Giardina.
A portion of the 3D coverage, which aired on its 24/7 3D channel ESPN 3D, was piggybacked with the 2D for the sports network.
“We are going down a road where we are producing 2D and 3D simultaneously,” said Phil Orlins, coordinating producer, ESPN3D and X Games. In those cases the left camera produced the 2D feed. “It is a reality that we have to find a balance that suits both [2D and 3D coverage] to the best of our ability.”
For the X Games coverage, at least 18 of Cameron-Pace Group’s Fusion 3D rigs were used with a mix of Sony professional cameras, mostly Sony’s HDC-P1 model (pictured).
ESPN also tried out Sony’s consumer 3D Handycams for a few of PoV shots. The X Games sports included skateboarding, BMX Freestyle and Moto X.
In July, Sony extended its sponsorship of ESPN’s 3D sports network for another year, specifically the 3D productions of the X Games and American college football this fall.
Sony was named the first official sponsor of the network in January 2010. ESPN 3D launched on June 11, 2010 and transitioned to a 24/7 network on February 14, 2011.
ESPN 3D has produced more than 115 live sporting events. It has also carried coverage of events including the 2010 FIFA World Cup and recent Wimbledon Championships.