Published: 09.49 Europe/London, May 23, 2011

Broadcasters rate production of 3D content and channels as their lowest technology investment priority, according to Ovum. As a result, the lack of programming for consumers who have bought a 3D TV is set to continue.

When asked to rate their strategic priorities for 2011, senior IT and business executives rated “production of 3D content and/or launch of 3D channels” as the lowest priority for strategic investment. 53% of respondents said 3D content production was “not an important business consideration”, the highest figure of all 11 investment areas. Meanwhile, no broadcasters in Europe or North America viewed 3D as a “critical investment area”.

Tim Renowden, Ovum analyst and author of the report, in a statement: “Several broadcasters, such as BSkyB, have launched 3D channels, but the high cost of 3D production, particularly live content, has limited content availability and delayed some channel launches. Given the lack of enthusiasm for investing in 3D content production and delivery expressed by broadcasters, this situation is unlikely to change rapidly.

“This ambivalence towards investment in 3D content production and creation of 3D channels, particularly for North American broadcasters, leaves a big hole in the availability of 3D content, and tells us that the lack of 3D programming we have seen during 2010 is unlikely to improve in 2011.

“This leaves a heavy burden on packaged content, such as Blu-Ray DVDs, and streaming content as the primary source of 3D content for consumers who have purchased or intend to purchase 3D TVs.”

According to the report, the high cost of investment in infrastructure and personnel is a major factor in the reluctance of broadcasters to invest in 3D production.

Renowden added: “The lack of broadcast content means console gaming is likely to provide an important driver of 3D adoption, with Sony promoting the technology on its PlayStation 3. Gaming has the advantage that incremental costs of 3D production are much lower than for filmed entertainment.”