The BBC has said it is to suspend 3D broadcasts ‘indefinitely’, following disappointing viewing figures for shows screened in the format.
The corporation’s head of 3D Kim Shillinglaw admitted that the format had proven unpopular with audiences, despite the 3D availability of some major TV shows and events.
Shows screened in 3D during the BBC’s two-year trial of the technology have included the final of Strictly Come Dancing, the Queen’s Christmas message and the opening ceremony of London 2012.
However it is estimated that of the 1.5m households in the UK who own a 3D capable TV, only half watched the 3D Olympics broadcast.
Other shows pulled in even more disappointing figures, with just five per cent of the potential audience watching the Queen’s speech in 3D, as well as the 3D adaptation of the David Walliams’ novel Mr Stink, which was also shown at Christmas.
“I have never seen a very big appetite for 3D television in the UK,” Ms Shillinglaw told the Radio Times.
“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.”
She added that audiences had found the technology ‘quite hassly’ – which could have proved a turn-off for viewers.
The BBC’s 3D broadcasts will continue until the end of the year, with November’s 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who being one of the last programmes screened in the format.
This weekend’s Wimbledon ladies and men’s singles finals will also be available in 3D for the second year running.