NFL in 3D

The San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders will appear in a 3D simulcast for a select few in a first-of-its kind simulcast. The Dec. 4 gridiron match-up will appear in 3D-capable theaters in Boston, Hollywood and New York.

The National Football is working with two Los Angeles-area companies to create the invite-only event--Burbank, Calif., 3ality Digital and RealD of Beverly Hills. 3ality will shoot and transmit the game. The company’s accomplishments credit include the “U2 3D,” the first live action film shot in digital 3D; the first transatlantic 3D broadcast of Dreamworks chief Jeffrey Katzenberg being interviewed on the West Coast from IBC in Amsterdam; and NBC’s “Chuck,” the first scripted TV show shot in digital 3D (NBC's "Chuck").

RealD makes the 3D cinema projection technology that dominates much of the market. It will provide access to enabled theaters and 3D-capable TV monitors so the anointed can see what football of the future will look like at home.

The NFL has toyed with 3D before. Super Bowl XXXVIII, the one famous for Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction,” was filmed in 3D, but no such telecasts have ever been done. The League was a primary driver of the adoption of high-definition television. It’s going for a similar sea change with 3D.

“The NFL has played an important role in the evolution of media and consumer acceptance of emerging technologies…” said Howard Katz, NFL senior vice president of broadcasting and media operations, in a press release. “This broadcast will be an exciting test of how 3D could affect fans’ experience in the future.”

The broadcast will be transmitted live to invited audiences in the three theaters owned by Clearview Cinemas, Mann Theatres and National Amusements. The event will be carried via Technicolor Digital Cinema’s satellite infrastructure and live in-theatre broadcast platform.