Seven cable operators have joined DirecTV to distribute the YES Network telecast of the first two Major League Baseball games in 3D this Saturday and Sunday from Safeco Field in Seattle, where the Seattle Mariners will host the New York Yankees.
Blue Ridge Communications, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox, Service Electric Broadband Cable, Time Warner Cable and Verizon FiOS, all affiliates of YES Network, have agreed to make channel space available to pick up and distribute the YES 3D feed.
The telecast by YES is being sponsored by DirecTV and Panasonic.
YES will present its regular high-definition telecast of the Saturday game at 10 p.m. EDT and the Sunday game at 4 p.m. EDT, with its regular announcers Bob Lorenz and John Flaherty.
It will do a separate, simultaneous, live 3D telecast using Mariners announcers Dave Niehaus and Dave Simms, who will be joined by Ken Singletary from YES.
The regular telecasts will use 12 HD cameras in the stadium, while the 3D telecasts will use seven 3D cameras.
The HD game telecasts will contain their normal run of commercials, but the 3D telecasts will have no commercials. The commercial time will be filled with pre-taped features or with continued discussions by the announcers during the breaks.
"The focus of the 3D telecast is not about generating ad revenue but about the production and getting the technology down," Eric Handler, VP of communications at YES Network, told TheWrap.
The cable operators carrying the 3D telecasts are making them available within the Yankees' home territory normally reached by YES. That includes all of New York state and Connecticut, as well as in north and central New Jersey and northeast Pennsylvania.
While YES will produce and televise the first two 3D MLB games ever, it will not be the first sports telecasts shown in 3D. ESPN has produced several 3D telecasts, including the Masters golf tournament in April, a Harlem Globetrotters basketball game in February and the 2009 college football matchup between USC and Ohio State.
Also, ESPN recently launched ESPN3D network in conjunction with the start of the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament last month.