The next big thing in sports is 3-D TV, and leading television graphics firm Rezn8 is getting in on the action.

The Hollywood company has signed a deal extending a partnership with Ultimate Fighting Championship that includes designing 3-D graphics in multiple languages for the mixed martial arts pay-per-view TV programs.

Las Vegas-based UFC has seen its popularity grow tremendously over the past several years through pay specials and cable reality series. Now, it is looking to create broadcasts that can run in foreign countries in 3-D. That means more work for graphic design studio Rezn8, a subsidiary of Van Nuys-based Stereo Vision Entertainment Inc.

“The entire sports market is trying to understand how to produce shows in 3-D. We hope to be an expert in that space,” said Rezn8 Chief Executive Paul Sidlo. “Sports are the next big market for 3-D and will be bigger than (movie) box office.”

UFC has not announced when it plans to roll out its first 3-D broadcast. So far there have only been some individual events broadcast in the format, including the X-Games on ESPN.

Rezn8 currently works with major networks such as Fox and CBS to produce on-screen graphics that appear during major broadcasts. Among its credits are 14 Super Bowls. The company has earned nine Emmys for its graphics.

Over the past five years, the company has generated average annual revenue of $2.3 million per year, but Sidlo acknowledged revenue was “below average” last year due to the economy. It currently employs around 10 people who work on two to six projects at a time.

Jock Talk

AthletesTouch, a business organization started in 2009 to help former professional, college and Olympic athletes network with each other, is ready to hold its first annual golf tournament at Mountaingate Country Club on Jan. 31.

The group was started by former tennis pro Kent Seton and Justin Blaine, a former baseball player from Westlake who played briefly with the Philadelphia Phillies. The group started with 40 members who pay $600 in annual dues. Now, it’s up to 150 members spread across five chapters in Century City, Westlake, Pasadena, Manhattan Beach and Orange County.

“We’ve had success because L.A. is a hub for professional athletes, but the model can be replicated outside California,” said Blaine. “We’ve had clamoring from people in big cities to expand.

Later this month, the group will honor pro basketball hall of famer and successful business executive Jerry West at its golf tournament, which will raise money for the Magic Johnson Foundation and American Red Cross. It has lined up several corporate sponsors for the tournament including AT&T, Aetna and several of the organization’s member firms.

Staff reporter David Nusbaum can be reached at dnusbaum@labusinessjournal.com or at (323) 549-5225, ext. 236.

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