Up to 25 matches from next year’s World Cup are to be captured in 3D following an agreement between Sony and the tournament organiser FIFA. The media rights agreement will look to take advantage of Sony’s work in the area that runs from 3D cameras through to domestic displays. Sony is already a commercial partner for the World Cup that gets underway in Johannesburg on June 11 next year.
FIFA is currently examining whether it is feasible to offer live rights to the tournament. Although BSkyB has plans to launch a pay-per-view channel in the 3D format during 2010, the UK rights are jointly held by the BBC and ITV, with public broadcasters largely holding the other European rights. There are immediate plans to display the footage at public events in Berlin, London, Mexico City, Paris, Rio De Janeiro, Rome, and Sydney.
“This propels the football fan into a whole new viewing dimension and marks the dawning of a new era in the broadcasting of sport,” said FIFA secretary general Jérôme Valcke. “We are proud that the FIFA World Cup can serve as a platform for advancing technology and the viewing experience, and are truly fortunate to have Sony as a partner in this endeavour.”
“The transition to 3D is underway, and, we, at Sony, intend to be leaders in every aspect. Our sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup allows us to leverage our cutting-edge 3D technology and premier products with dazzling content to produce a unique and totally compelling viewing experience,” added Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman, CEO and President of Sony Corporation.
Sony has a range of 3D compatible Bravia LCD televisions that incorporate frame sequential display and active-shutter glass systems. Its domestic TV arm also holds proprietary high frame rate technology designed to enhance the quality of the image. The company has previously announced that it will extend 3D compatibility into Blu-ray Disc products, VAIO and the PlayStation.
Sony Pictures Entertainment will produce and distribute the official 3D film of the 2010 FIFA World Cup after the event.
In September, the BBC’s director of London 2012 indicated that coverage of the London Olympics in the 3D format was a possibility.