ESPN 3D picked up by AT&T U-verse with a bang, dropped with nary a whimper

Here's some more evidence that supports critics' contentions that 3D TV is going nowhere fast in the U.S.: AT&T (NYSE: T), whose carriage contract with ESPN 3D expired last month, has dropped the channel with little, or no, public outcry.


AT&T did not renewed its carrier contract with ESPN 3D.

The channel, which the telco picked up last June, required subscribers pay $10 a month for the service's 3D technology package--and, of course, required subscribers have a 3D TV and the requisite glasses.

The price tag for customers, and AT&T apparently, was too high. Here's what the telco had to say:

"We're always listening to customers and working to make sure we're delivering the channels they want, while keeping costs down. The price tag for ESPN 3D was too high, especially considering the low demand we've seen from customers. We've decided not to renew our agreement for ESPN 3D. For our customers who subscribe to the U-verse 3D Technology package, it will be automatically removed from their bills and any charges after the channel has been removed will be credited.

"We continue to add new channels and content that our customers want. We offer several 3D titles today in our U-verse Movies library, and we'll look to deliver more 3D channels and content, at a reasonable cost, as more of our customers purchase 3D TVs and tell us they want it."

Several blogs and forums that follow AT&T's U-verse had little--and in some cases--no comment on the news.

As one forum poster wrote: "I don't know how many of you out there have 3D televisions, but my reaction to this notice from AT&T was "so what."

SNL Kagan is projecting sales of 3D-capable TVs to slow this year with only 1.8 million households, or about 2 percent of all TV homes, expected to have 3D TVs by year's end. But, as CE manufacturers begin to include 3D capabilities in more TV sets, those numbers are likely to improve dramatically, especially as prices for the hardware continues to erode. Kagan says just 21 percent of households will have the technology by 2015.

For more:
- see this HDReport article

Related articles:
CBS weighs entry into 3D market
3D TV sees slow uptake in U.S. market, for now
Survey: 3D adopters love the new technology
Samsung launching 3D video-on-demand service this summer
Report shows consumers not ready to buy 3D TVs... yet
ESPN 3D to finally debut on Verizon FiOS TV