World Cup: Canal+ eyes 3D for France

Canal+ of France is one of the latest parties to show tangible interest in 3D sports coverage and says it plans to carry at least a dozen World Cup matches from South Africa starting this weekend.

The French pay-channel based in Paris will join other cablers, broadcasters and DBS firms planning to take the main 3D feed provided by Sony. Viewing the 3D content on Canal+ and everywhere else will require 3D-enabled HD sets and set-top boxes, along with those special glasses.

Canal itself plans to air a minimum of four matches in 3D and said it holds the rights to all 64 matches in HD. TF1, a French commercial broadcaster, plans to broadcast five matches — including the opener featuring South Africa vs. Mexico on June 11, as well as the final match of the tournament on July 11. (All scheduled soccer telecasts also will be on satellite via CanalSat.)

Canal+ says work continues on ramping up a fulltime 3D channel by the end of 2010.

Other European service providers planning to show some World Cup contests in 3D include Swiss cabler Naxoo plus Digital+ of Spain.