ESPN is launching ESPN 3D on June 11 with the broadcast of a 2010 FIFA World Cup, reports USA Today. The Disney-owned US sports giant says it will be the first TV network dedicated to 3D programming. ESPN expects to show up to 85 live sporting events on the 3D network in its first year including games from the Summer X Games. It expects to eventually have other live 3D sports events from college football, college basketball and the NBA. The network didn’t specify which World Cup match from South Africa it would air to launch the network.  There was also no word on whether ESPN is using any of the 3D World Cup matches Sony had announced it would be producing during the tournament.

USA Today quotes Consumer Electronics Association head Gary Shapiro, who calls ESPN 3D a turning point for the technology. The paper points out that 3D TV will require a specialized HDTV set, 3D glasses, and possibly new set-top boxes for cable and satellite broadcasts. Satellite provider DirecTV is also planning on launching a 3D network and is expected to make the announcement this week at CES. Read more at USA Today.