The closing stages of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships will be captured in 3D, following an agreement with Sony Europe, the All England Lawn Tennis Club has announced. The 3D production is being made in partnership with host broadcaster the BBC and being offered to interested global broadcasters.
Although the BBC has the capability to show the 3D pictures on outdoor sites around Britain, it seems unlikely the corporation would be able to broadcast the transmissions domestically. Sony, which has previously funded the World Cup in 3D, is working with its cinema distribution partners SuperVision Media.
Coverage will be of the Men’s Singles Semi-Finals, the Ladies’ and the Men’s Singles Finals.
“Watching tennis in High Definition 3D is a stunning experience, bringing the speed of the action and the emotions of the occasion to life; it is as close to the atmosphere and excitement of Centre Court as actually being there,” said Fujio Nishida, President of Sony Europe.
Wimbledon has a history of involvement in the development of television. In 1967 David Attenborough, the then controller of BBC Two, used the tennis championships to help launch colour television onto the three-year old channel. “We are delighted to confirm that we are working in partnership with Sony and the AELTC on bringing 3D technology to our Wimbledon coverage for this year’s Championships,” said the corporation. “As the host TV broadcaster for almost 75 years the BBC has a strong tradition for innovation at the Championships, including most recently: Hawkeye in 2003 and HD for the first time in 2006.”
Ian Ritchie, chief executive of The All England Lawn Tennis Club said the club was always looking for ways to blend history with innovation: “We are delighted that our 3D partnership with Sony will not only guarantee we are at the cutting edge of live sporting television, but also deliver a compelling new viewing experience for our global audiences, especially amongst our younger supporters.”
Orange has previously shown the French Open at Roland Garos in 3D with last year’s transmissions being seen across Europe following an agreement between Panasonic and Eurosport.