FIFA, Sony Announce World Cup 3D Coverage

Two months before the start of the world’s most popular sporting championship, FIFA, which runs soccer’s World Cup, announced details about 3D coverage of the quadrennial event.

Sony is the main sponsor of the 3D coverage, which will begin on June 11 with a match between host country South Africa and Mexico. A total of 25 games will be shown in 3D, culminating in the final on July 11. FIFA said the matches were selected based on their ability to “attract the most public attention.”

Five out of the 10 FIFA World Cup stadiums will be equipped for 3D coverage: Soccer City and Ellis Park in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. Eight of the matches will be shown live in 3D in various digital cinemas and selected venues in 26 countries worldwide. Swiss-based Aruna Media AG will manage the satellite feeds for the live coverage. Seven pairs of Sony HDC cameras on rigs will provide the 3D coverage of the matches via a 3D OB truck. Sony has been conducting 3D filming trials throughout Europe over the past year in preparation for the World Cup.

The USA-Slovenia match on June 18 is among the list of 25 to be shown in 3D. ESPN will be the exclusive U.S. carrier and is launching its 3D channel on June 11, the opening day of the World Cup (DirecTV is the only carrier so far that has said it will carry ESPN 3D on its initial launch). The only other network announced to carry the World Cup in 3D is Sogecable in Spain, but organizers said they expect to reveal additional carriers shortly. In addition, the public will be able to view 3D promotional trailers on Sony 3D Bravia TVs in around 4,000 Sony-affiliated flagship stores worldwide and FIFA will work with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment to produce and distribute the official FIFA film in 3D on Blu-ray this year.