NASCAR Media Group and cable programmer Turner Broadcasting System announced that they will produce the first NASCAR race in 3D on July 3 with the running of the Coke Zero 400 race in Daytona, Fla.
The 3D production will be broadcast on DirecTV's N3D stereoscopic 3D channel, where it can be viewed by consumers with new 3D-capable sets and accessory glasses, as well as online through "TNT RaceBuddy" on NASCAR.COM, where it can be watched with a 3D-capable PC or laptop and accessory glasses (fans can go to www.nascar.com/racebuddy3D to get more details). Turner, which manages NASCAR.COM, says it will also make the Sprint Cup Series race from Daytona International Speedway available in 3D through DirecTV.
"One of our goals here at NASCAR is to continuously explore ways to improve the viewing experience for our fans," said Jay Abraham, chief operating officer of NASCAR Media Group, in a statement. "Offering the Coke Zero 400 in 3D on NASCAR.COM and select television distributors is a great example of that consistent exploration. Our fans have been asking us about 3D for several months so we're excited to deliver that to them for the first time ever in what will likely change how NASCAR is consumed moving forward."
The 3D production on NASCAR.COM and DIRECTV will feature two custom racing feeds produced specifically for 3D, one using trackside cameras placed to maximize the 3D effect, the other giving an up-close look at pit row.
The 3D production is being broadcast simultaneously with Turner's "Wide Open" coverage on TNT, a special format for NASCAR which provides continuous race action free of national commercial breaks and features more unobstructed race views than that of a standard telecast by using a letterbox widescreen format for SD viewers. Along with title sponsor Coke Zero, featured sponsors-to-date for the "Wide Open" broadcast are Burger King, Coors Light, Dimension Films' "Piranha 3D," Goodyear, Sprint, Subway and Toyota.
"At Turner Sports we pride ourselves on innovation through testing, learning and exploring new products and technologies that can better serve our audiences on a multitude of platforms," said Lenny Daniels, Turner Sports EVP and COO, in a statement. "We see this as an opportunity to showcase our marquee primetime race in Daytona through our signature Wide Open format on TNT, as well as to learn more about 3D through this unique presentation online at NASCAR.COM and through DIRECTV."