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Germany: Sky airs 3D Soccer to Select Audience

Franz Beckenbauer and Andreas Dasser (Managing Director P+S Technik) following the Bundesliga match between Bayer Leverkusen and Hamburger SV live in 3D (Copyright Sky)
Last Sunday, March 15, Sky Deutschland said it made German broadcast history with the nation's first telecast in 3D HD. The event was a soccer match between Bayer Leverkusen and Hamburg SV, which was piped into an invitation-only audience at a large Munich beer hall (where else!).

Sky (until recently known as Premiere in Germany) treated the mostly celebrity crowd to the typical 3D glasses to the celebrity-filled crowd to view the match in stereoscopic 3D. Sky gave no hint when it might actually begin offering some 3D content on its DBS system, which is busy (like most other media outlets) trying to grow its HD subscriber list, much less make a partial marketing shift towards 3D.

Sky is using 3D technology as a way to further promote its HD product, with one Sky Deutschland exec telling the assembled crowd in Munich, "What we've seen on this memorable evening is what will be possible with HDTV in the future. 3D is the HD experience of the future and the logical next step for HDTV," according to several European Web sites including Variety.

Sky produced the 3D soccer broadcast simultaneously with its "regular" HD broadcast with the aid of nine 3D cameras. Altogether, six 3D stereo rigs from P+S Technik were used, four heavy duty standard rigs and two freestyle rigs mounted on Steadicams.