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2010 World Cup to Be Shown in 3D

Officials for the FIFA World Cup announced this week that next year’s tournament will be broadcast in 3D.

The organization, which manages the world’s largest sporting event, has signed a media rights agreement with Sony, an official FIFA Partner, to deliver 3D images from up to 25 matches of the quadrennial event, taking place in South Africa. FIFA is working on whether a live right will be offered in the coming months.

“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 Jerome 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.”

Whether anyone will actually have the ability to see the 3D action in their homes is questionable—very few 3D-capable sets are available on the market. However, the event gives Sony a chance to promote its 3D technology on the world stage. Last week, Sony chief Sir Howard Stringer told investors the company is counting on 3D to be the company’s next $10 billion business. The company anticipates 3D-capable electronics will generate as much as $11 billion between March 2012-13, according to wire services. And in September Sony announced it would roll out a 3D-capable Bravia LCD TV in 2010.

“The transition to 3D is underway, and, we, at Sony, intend to be leaders in every aspect,” said Stringer this week. “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. 3D viewers around the world will feel as though they are inside the stadiums in South Africa, watching the games in person.”

Sony Pictures Entertainment will produce and distribute the official 3D film of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa after the event.