For the first time, ESPN 3D has transmitted 3-D programming to viewers outside the United States. ESPN 3D, in conjunction with FOXTEL and AUSTAR in Australia, took on its toughest production challenge yet in providing eight hours of extreme sports coverage from the recent X Games 16 in Los Angeles.
Fans in Australia saw the 3-D telecasts on July 30 and Aug. 1 on FOXTEL and AUSTAR. Pete Campbell, FOXTEL's director of sports, said his network was the first to bring Australians 3-D television. It was a "ground-breaking sports experience," he said. The games could also be viewed in 3-D in the United States, though at different times.
ESPN 3D did its most extensive 3-D production to date. It used 14 PACE FUSION 3D camera rigs to capture action at the Los Angeles Coliseum. The gear included two 86ft Strada cranes, one Polecam, a 40ft jib, a 30ft jib and a Mega-Mo, an ultra-slow-motion camera that featured an I-Movix SprintCam Vvs HD system. It was deployed by Fletcher Sports and also used at the Home Run Derby.
The games also featured the first use of wireless RF 3-D camera rigs for a live production. The two camera packages were supplied by Broadcast Sports. One was in a handheld configuration, and the other was used as an in-car camera during Rally Car competition. The 20lb in-car rig was located behind the driver and provided viewers with a backseat POV shot.
ESPN again used NEP's SS-32 mobile unit, which is equipped with a Sony MVS-8000X 3G switcher with Sony LMD series 3-D monitors, EVS XT+ servers, Panasonic DVCPRO tape machines and a Calrec Alpha audio board with Bluefin.