DirecTV dives into 3D

ESPN also will offer on-demand and pay-per-view content

From nature documentaries to the Major League Baseball All-Star game, DirecTV is diving head first into the 3D broadcasting market.

The satcaster plans to roll out its 3D content in June, including 3D pay-per-view, on-demand channels as well as ESPN 3D and its own N3D channel.

DirecTV senior VP Steven Roberts told Variety, “We made the decision late last year that we were going to continue with our innovation with providing our customers with a great experience in terms of entertainment and taking 3D and really running with it.”

For its N3D channel, DirecTV has paired with Panasonic and various programmers, including Fox, MTV and CBS, to produce 3D content that will include films, documentaries, sporting and entertainment events.

The ESPN 3D channel plans to showcase at least 85 live events during its first year, beginning June 11 with the 2010 FIFA World Cup match between South Africa and Mexico.

The X Games 16 and college football’s ACC Championship are set for later this year, with the 2011 BCS National Championship game, college basketball and NBA games to follow in 2011.

“There is going to be specific content where people aren’t going to want to watch in just plain 2D any longer,” Roberts said.

DirecTV is providing a free software upgrade that will happen seamlessly in June for customers with Sony, Panasonic, LG and Samsung TVs. With the upgrade, DirecTV customers with an HD package and a 3D flatscreen with glasses will be able to watch the stereoscopic programming.