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ESPN 3D adds the NBA Finals to its broadcast schedule

Take that Mark Cuban. Everyone's favorite HD network owning billionaire called 3D sports DOA after deciding there weren't many people asking about a 3D Super Bowl, but now ESPN's 3D network has queued up its second championship of the year, adding the NBA Finals to its previously scheduled slate of regular season and playoff broadcasts. ESPN 3D has been broadcasting around the clock for a few days now (unless you're watching DirecTV) but while repeats make for easy demo material, if 3D is going to go from an interesting sideshow to an in-demand feature it will take more high profile events like these. If the Mavericks manage to slide past the Lakers or Spurs for a deep playoff run, we'll check back with our friend Mark to see how he'd watch the game if he didn't already have a few seats permanently staked out in the arena.

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ESPN 3D to Televise the 2011 NBA Finals
NBA Finals Televised for First Time in 3D

ESPN 3D, in its first year of distribution, will expand its NBA offerings to include The Finals – the pinnacle of the NBA season – this June, marking the first time the championship-crowning event will be presented in 3D. ESPN 3D televised the first NBA game in 3D when the Miami Heat visited the New York Knicks on December 17, 2010. Since December, ESPN 3D has shown six NBA games in addition to other programming.

ESPN 3D's upcoming NBA schedule (schedule subject to change):
Date Time (ET) Game
Fri, Feb 25 8 p.m. Oklahoma City at Orlando
Fri, Mar 4 7 p.m. Chicago at Orlando
Wed, Mar 16 8 p.m. Oklahoma City at Miami
Fri, Apr 1 8 p.m. Boston at Atlanta
TBD TBD NBA Playoffs (First Round) – Game 1
TBD TBD NBA Playoffs (First Round) – Game 4
TBD TBD NBA Playoffs (Conference Semifinals) – Game 2
TBD TBD Western Conference Finals – Game 1
TBD TBD Western Conference Finals – Game 2
TBD TBD Western Conference Finals – Game 4
Thurs, Jun 2 9 p.m. Finals (Game 1)
Sun, Jun 5 8 p.m. Finals (Game 2)
Tues, Jun 7 9 p.m. Finals (Game 3)
Thurs, Jun 9 9 p.m. Finals (Game 4)
Sun, Jun 12 8 p.m. Finals (Game 5)
Tues, Jun 14 9 p.m. Finals (Game 6)
Thurs, Jun 16 9 p.m. Finals (Game 7)

Beginning Monday, Feb. 14, ESPN 3D began showing 3D content 24-hours a day. In its first year, ESPN 3D will telecast more than 100 live events.

About ESPN 3D

ESPN was the first to announce in the United States an exclusive 3D network in January 2010 which was the culmination of more than three years of testing 3D television. ESPN produced many 3D domestic telecasts in 2010, including: college football and basketball, the State Farm Home Run Derby, the Masters, the Harlem Globetrotters and NBA games. ESPN 3D first produced the USC vs. Ohio State college football game in September 2009 which became the starting point for the network. ESPN has developed best practices for utilizing and producing 3D technology in live game applications. In addition, ESPN utilizes cutting-edge technology located at the ESPN Innovation Lab in Orlando at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World to continue to develop innovative production enhancements. ESPN 3D is available in the United States to approximately 62.5 million households and has carriage agreements with AT&T U-Verse, Comcast, DIRECTV and Time Warner Cable. It will launch in 2011 on Verizon FiOS TV. Sony was named the first official sponsor of the network in January 2010.