BBC to ditch 3D after Doctor Who special

Earlier today it was revealed that Sky wouldn't be getting the BBC's 3D coverage of the Wimbledon finals or semi-finals. Both broadcasters confirmed to Pocket-lint that it was because the Beeb refused to pay an EPG listing fee - believed to be in the region of £20,000. Now there is a further reason as to why: the BBC is pulling out of 3D broadcasting entirely.

The corporation has decided to reduce investment in 3D broadcasting rather than increase it. Indeed, after November, it plans to stop all further 3D trials, with a Doctor Who 3D special and natural history programme Hidden Kingdom the last shows to be aired. There just isn't enough interest in the format, it says.

"I have never seen a very big appetite for 3D television in the UK," Kim Shillinglaw, head of BBC 3D, told the Radio Times.

"Watching 3D is quite a hassly experience in the home. You have got to find your glasses before switching on the TV. I think when people watch TV they concentrate in a different way. When people go to the cinema they go and are used to doing one thing - I think that's one of the reasons that take up of 3D TV has been disappointing."

More than 1.5 million households own 3DTVs, it is claimed, but only half of those watched the Olympics in 3D. The 3D broadcast of the Queen's Speech, which was heavily marketed and trailed on major news programmes, was viewed by just 5 per cent of the available audience.

If 3D should prove to be more popular in the future, the BBC might return to the format. Until then it will keep an eye on competitors, such as Sky.

"We will see what happens when the recession ends and there may be more take-up of sets but I think the BBC will be having a wait and see. It's the right time for a good old pause," said Shillinglaw.