FIFA and Sony to launch first ever global 3D experience
© AFP

Following the initial joint announcement to make the world’s first FIFA World Cup™ available in 3D, FIFA and the Sony Corporation today unveiled insights into what the football fans around the globe can expect from this innovative undertaking to add a third dimension to the football viewing experience. Coinciding with the rapidly growing consumer interest in 3D fuelled by the release of blockbuster movie titles in 3D and impending launch of 3D TV sets for the home, the first ever FIFA World Cup™ in 3D will further capture the excitement for millions of football fans around the globe.

With a total of seven pairs of Sony's professional HDC cameras on rigs at every match, the action on the pitch will be captured in a stunning 3D quality enabled through its proprietary multi-image processor and 3D Outside Broadcast truck. Sony’s cutting-edge processor, the only one in the market to date, makes an end-to-end workflow possible in the production process and automatically adjusts the depth-of-field to ensure an unprecedented and optimal 3D viewing experience around the world. Starting from the FIFA Confederations Cup last year in South Africa, Sony has been working on enhancing the 3D capturing of fast-moving football action and has since conducted a number of 3D filming trials in Europe.

3D filming will be realised at five out of the ten FIFA World Cup stadiums: Soccer City and Ellis Park in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. 25 matches in total will be filmed and broadcast in 3D, which will include a carefully chosen selection of those games expected to attract most public attention, including the opening game on 11 June at Soccer City (South Africa-Mexico) and the crowning final game on 11 July also in Johannesburg. Other games to be captured in 3D are:

1. June 11 16:00 RSA-MEX
2. June 12 16:00 ARG-NGA
3. June 13 20:30 GER-AUS
4. June 14 13:30 NED-DEN
5. June 15 20:30 BRA-PRK
6. June 16 16:00 ESP-SUI
7. June 17 13:30 ARG-KOR
8. June 18 16:00 SVN-USA
9. June 19 13:30 NED-JPN
10. June 20 20:30 BRA-CIV
11. June 21 20:30 ESP-HON
12. June 22 20:30 NGA-KOR
13. June 23 20:30 GHA-GER
14. June 24 16:00 SVK-ITA
15. June 25 16:00 POR-BRA
16. June 27 20:30 1st B-2nd A
17. June 28 16:00 1st E-2nd F
18. June 28 20:30 1st G-2nd H
19. July 2 20:30 Quarter-final
20. July 3 16:00 Quarter-final
21. July 3 20:30 Quarter-final
22. July 6 20:30 Semi-final
23. July 7 20:30 Semi-final
24. July 10 20:30 3rd place match
25. July 11 20:30 Final

“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,” said Niclas Ericson, Director of FIFA TV. “Whilst 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,” he added.

In line with FIFA’s and Sony’s endeavour to make this new exciting 3D viewing experience available to as many football fans as possible, a dedicated global 3D public viewing project will debut at this year’s FIFA World Cup. Eight matches will be fed live to digital cinemas and selected venues in 3D HD quality around the globe. To this end, FIFA has appointed Swiss-based Aruna Media AG 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.

Complementing the 3D live broadcast and public viewing activities, the general public will also be able to exclusively enjoy the 3D promotional trailers shown on Sony 3D BRAVIA TVs in around 4,000 Sony-affiliated retail stores worldwide, including 200 Sony flagship stores (total number of Sony-affiliated retail stores: 1,500 in North America, 1,300 in Europe, 500 in Japan, 200 in Asia, 200 in Latin America, and 30 in South Africa). Furthermore, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment today unveiled plans to produce and distribute the official FIFA film in 3D on Blu-ray Disc this year.

Nota Bene, 10 May 2010 :
Please be advised that FIFA has terminated its relationship with Aruna Media AG in respect of 3D public viewing rights for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ with effect from 10 May 2010. The exploitation of such rights is now being handled directly by FIFA. Aruna Media no longer has any entitlement to deal with the 3D public viewing rights or any other FIFA rights.