On Friday, Verizon announced that they plan to start down the 3D path and release a 3DTV package that would be launched before the 2010 holiday shopping season. Shawn Strickland, vice president of FiOS product management for Verizon, said on Friday, "We're monitoring the early sales of 3D TVs and expect to announce a 3D offering well in advance of the holiday TV-shopping season, when 3D television sales will expand."
Verizon already offers standard definition and HDTV services along their FiOs network that now have over three million subscribers. This new 3DTV package will be offered in the same manner as these other services.
Verizon has also begun the chase to discuss broadcast rights to certain channels. Networks like ESPN have said that they plan to launch their 3D experience this summer with the soccer World Cup. Verizon has been trying to negotiate things with ESPN but Strickland said that they have set “ridiculously” high prices for the rights.
Strickland said, "There are content distribution companies that own content and that are simply running demonstration events early in the evolution of 3D.” He also said, “These early events seem to be aimed at the viewers who just went through the challenge of getting the best HD sets. Some content owners have elected to specifically exclude Verizon and other competitive distributors from carriage of these 3D events in an effort to advantage their distribution businesses. Others have fixed ridiculously high prices for the content. Verizon's position is that integrated operators should not withhold programming options from the marketplace, and that consumers should have the freedom to choose the distributor that best meets their needs."
It will be interesting to see where Verizon goes with all of this. They have not stated exactly what content or networks they plan to go after, but I guess we will know all of that information in due time. Until then, we will just have to watch and wait patiently to see where all of this will go.
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