SWC final in 3D

2010-04-08 13:26

London - The World Cup final at Soccer City in Johannesburg will be among 25 matches at this year's tournament broadcast in 3D.

Twenty-five of the 64 matches in South Africa will be filmed by at least seven dedicated pairs of cameras, with record five-time World Cup winner Brazil the most featured team. All three of its group matches are among the 15 first-round games scheduled for broadcast.

Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Argentina, South Korea and Nigeria will each appear twice, with England and France among the 10 sides who must advance to stand a chance of their matches being shown in the format.

The first ever World Cup match broadcast in 3D will be the opening game between South Africa and Mexico at Soccer City. Four more of the 10 World Cup venues will participate in the venture: Ellis Park in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth.

"We wanted to make sure the key matches would be in the production schedule," FIFA director of TV Niclas Ericson said. "There was a lot of other reasons such as production constraints and other issues such as space."

The 3D footage will be broadcast live to home viewers in 26 countries and at dedicated public events.

Fans will be able to watch the 3D matches at dedicated sites at Soccer City, Cape Town and Durban, as well as in cinemas and at fan festivals, modeled on the fan zones that took off in Germany during the 2006 World Cup, in cities including Berlin, Paris, Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City.

FIFA has three confirmed 3D broadcasters, including ESPN, and may announce more before the June 11-July 11 tournament.

Ericson said FIFA expects "a few hundred thousand" fans in total to watch games in 3D.

Sony is filming the matches and said its technology, which was tested at last year's eight-nation Confederations Cup, was as important as the shift from black and white to color.

Sony Professional Europe marketing director David Bush said the first time he ever watched colour TV was during the 1970 World Cup.

"I was among about 25 neighbours crowded around a TV watching that great Brazilian team of Pele and Jarzinho break Italian hearts," Bush said. "This is the next paradigm shift."

Soccer City in Johannesburg (File)

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