After TNT offered a NASCAR race in 3D last summer that aired on DirecTV, the satellite operator will carry two racing specials in 3D focusing on a different racing series. The hour-long shows will start Feb. 4 on DirecTV's dedicated 3D channel, n3D, which has Panasonic as a sponsor.
In lieu of carrying a race live, DirecTV will offer some coverage, but also behind-the-scenes footage and interviews of the final race on the Formula DRIFT circuit in 2010.
DirecTV and the racing circuit are co-producers. Indicating that an edited format may allow producers to better capitalize on 3D, DirecTV executive Chris Long stated that the emerging format on TV will "make every counter steer, plume of smoke and wreck feel like it is happening in the middle of your living room."
The n3D network has offered the MLB All-Star Game and U.S. Open tennis event, as well as entertainment such as "Guitar Center Sessions."
TNT carried a NASCAR race from the Daytona track last July that aired on DirecTV and several cable operators' systems and in an online version. ESPN will launch a 24/7 3D network in February and will likely offer some NASCAR car races this season. Also possible is the 100th Indianapolis 500 in May. The race will already be shot in 3D as an IMAX documentary is being made about this year's version that is scheduled to be released in the fall.