The 2010 FIFA World Cup will mark the football event's 3D coming-of-age with a host of developments announced by its organising body and Sony. A total of 25 games will be shown in 3D when the World Cup - which is held every four years - is held at new and refurbished South African stadiums in June/July.
Coinciding with the fast-growing consumer interest in 3D, Sony and football body FIFA have announced a host of plans to bring a further dimension to match coverage. In total, 25 matches will be filmed and broadcast in 3D, captured at five out of 10 FIFA World Cup venues: Soccer City and Ellis Park in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. The matches will be captured with Sony HDC-1500 cameras, with 3D images enabled via the manufacturer's MPE-200 multi-image processor and 3D OB truck.
Niclas Ericson, director of FIFA TV, commented: "The 3D feed from these 25 matches will be made available for broadcast on 3D channels, which can be enjoyed by consumers on their 3D-compatible TV sets in the comfort of their home, almost as if they were in the football stadium themselves. While discussions with major broadcasters are ongoing, I am very pleased to announce the first confirmed partners for the 3D live broadcast, who are ESPN in the US and Sogecable in Spain. We expect further announcements to be made shortly."
The 2010 event will also mark the debut of a dedicated global 3D public viewing project entailing the distribution of live signals to digital cinemas and selected venues in 3D HD. To this end, FIFA has appointed Swiss-based Aruna Media to manage the exclusive 3D cinema and entertainment venue rights for live games in 3D. Aruna plans to broadcast live 3D coverage of matches to around 26 countries and is in advanced discussions with several major markets.
"Sony has long-standing credentials in the creation of professional 3D technology and content for theatrical use," commented Hiroko Saito, deputy general manager of global sponsorships, Sony Corporation. "True to our strategy, 'From the lens to the living-room', we are actively involved at every stage of the 3D value chain and proudly draw on the strengths of the '3D World created by Sony', which encapsulates our expertise in professional solutions, consumer electronics, movie making and gaming alike. We are very excited to capitalise on these strengths and to be able to complement our compelling 3D proposition by bringing an entirely new viewing experience to the world of football through our partnership with FIFA."
The public will also be able to view 3D promotional trailers shown on Sony 3D BRAVIA TVs in around 4,000 Sony-affiliated retail stores worldwide, including 200 Sony flagship stores. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will also produce and distribute the official FIFA film in 3D on Blu-ray Disc later this year.