FIFA and Sony to launch FIFA World Cup in 3D

MUMBAI: Following the initial joint announcement to make the world’s first FIFA World Cup available in 3D, FIFA and Sony Corporation have unveiled insights into what the football fans around the globe can expect from this innovative undertaking to add a third dimension to the football viewing experience. Coinciding with the rapidly growing consumer interest in 3D fuelled by the release of blockbuster movie titles in 3D and impending launch of 3D TV sets for the home, the first ever FIFA World Cup in 3D will further capture the excitement for millions of football fans around the globe.


With a total of seven pairs of Sony’s professional HDC cameras on rigs at every match, the action on the pitch will be captured in a stunning 3D quality enabled through its proprietary multi-image processor and 3D Outside Broadcast truck. Sony’s cutting-edge processor, the only one in the market to date, makes an end-to-end workflow possible in the production process and automatically adjusts the depth-of-field to ensure an unprecedented and optimal 3D viewing experience around the world. Starting from the FIFA Confederations Cup last year in South Africa, Sony has been working on enhancing the 3D capturing of fast-moving football action and has since conducted a number of 3D filming trials in Europe.


3D filming will be realised at five out of the 10 FIFA World Cup stadiums: Soccer City and Ellis Park in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. 25 matches in total will be filmed and broadcast in 3D, which will include a carefully chosen selection of those games expected to attract most public attention.


"The 3D feed from these 25 matches will be made available for broadcast on 3D channels, which can be enjoyed by consumers on their 3D-compatible TV sets in the comfort of their home, almost as if they were in the football stadium themselves. Whilst discussions with major broadcasters are ongoing, I am very pleased to announce the first confirmed partners for the 3D live broadcast, who are ESPN in the US and Sogecable in Spain. We expect further announcements to be made shortly," said FIFA TV director Niclas Ericson.


A dedicated global 3D public viewing project will also debut at this year’s FIFA World Cup. Eight matches will be fed live to digital cinemas and selected venues in 3D HD quality around the globe. To this end, FIFA has appointed Swiss-based Aruna Media AG to manage the exclusive 3D cinema and entertainment venue rights for live games in 3D. Aruna plans to broadcast live 3D coverage of matches to around 26 countries and is in advanced discussions with several major markets.


"Sony has long standing credentials in the creation of professional 3D technology and content for theatrical use. True to our strategy ‘From the lens to the living-room’, we are actively involved at every stage of the 3D value chain and proudly draw on the strengths of the ‘3D World created by Sony’, which encapsulates our expertise in professional solutions, consumer electronics, movie making and gaming alike. We are very excited to capitalise on these strengths and to be able to complement our compelling 3D proposition by bringing an entirely new viewing experience to the world of football through our partnership with FIFA," said Sony Corporation deputy general manager of global sponsorships Hiroko Saito.


Furthermore, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment also unveiled plans to produce and distribute the official FIFA film in 3D on Blu-ray Disc this year.