Support by AT&T U-verse for the fledgling ESPN 3D channel always seemed halfhearted, while it was one of the providers to carry the channel at launch it was the only one at that time to levy a $10 fee for the privilege of viewing. The good news for subscribers is that $10 fee is gone, but the bad news is the channel has exited stage left along with it yesterday, before the last night of ESPN's big X-Games broadcast in 3D with no apparent warning. AT&T's reason for the move follows after the break, which lays out the case that even despite interested viewers chipping in their Hamiltons it has decided with there's not enough demand to support the "high cost" of ESPN 3D. Slow down on ringing the death knell for 3D everywhere however, since AT&T is still hanging onto its 3D VOD movies, for now. Its willingness to make the rare move of dropping one of the sports leaders offerings definitely speaks to the niche status of 3D, but experience suggests this comes down to a dollars and cents decision across the entire swath of the ever growing ESPN / ABC / Disney family.
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Statement from AT&T:
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 3DTVs and tell us they want it.