ESPN is expected to announce today that the Sept. 12 USC at Ohio State football game will have a limited showing in 3-D.
The 3-D version will be available at the Galen Center in Los Angeles and the ESPN Zone at LA Live as well as at a single theater in Columbus, Ohio; Hartford, Conn. (for ESPN invitees) and Hurst, Texas.
The Texas site, according to Anthony Bailey, ESPN's vice president for emerging technology, was chosen because ESPN would like to see how a 3-D broadcast would do in a place unaffiliated with either team playing.
According to Bailey the USC Alumni Assn. will control tickets for the Galen Center showing.
At the ESPN Zone, some patrons who are in the restaurant during the game will be randomly invited to an upstairs room where the game will be available in 3-D. There will be no tickets for sale for any of the viewing sites.
Last season the San Diego Chargers-Oakland Raiders game was broadcast in 3-D in a limited number of cities and by invitation only, and the Fox broadcast of the Bowl Championship Series national championship game between Florida and Oklahoma was shown in 3-D in more than 100 theaters across the country.
Bailey said ESPN would be using its own camera crews and production trucks and will have a separate announcing crew -- Mark Jones and Bob Davie will call the 3-D telecast while Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit and reporter Lisa Salters will do the regular ESPN telecast.
ESPN has done "practice" 3-D telecasts in-house, Bailey said, and this latest 3-D experience will include the first use of stereoscopic graphics, which means even the yellow first-down line will be in 3-D.
"The goal of the production is to learn more," Bailey said. "We want to bring in people without charge and find out if they would want to watch more football this way."