Rio de Janeiro • FIFA is considering scrapping 3-D broadcasts of the next World Cup, describing ESPN's decision to abandon the format as another setback for the technology.
The sports network said earlier this week that there weren't enough viewers in the United States to make 3-D broadcasts worth the investment, and ESPN's dedicated channel will close by the end of the year.
"We know that the technology has had a few setbacks in recent days, if you refer to some of the statements by (ESPN)," Niclas Ericson, FIFA's director of television, said Wednesday at a briefing during the Confederations Cup.
"It's clear when a big sports broadcaster like ESPN makes an announcement like that it creates a lot of extra tension (for the technology)," Ericson added.
The 2010 World Cup in South Africa was the first to be broadcast in 3-D, with 25 of the 64 matches screened in the format fueled, by what FIFA described at the time, as "rapidly growing consumer interest."
But demand for 3-D television sets doesn't appear to have taken off globally. Only an estimated 6 percent of TVs in the U.S. can show 3-D programming, according to the latest statistics.