Grand 3D vision for World Cup flatlines in Canada

By June 11, 2010Newswires

Grand 3D vision for World Cup flatlines in Canada

By Ian Harvey

With the opening kickoff to the FIFA World Cup 2010 just a day away, it appears the grand vision of watching games in 3D will be limited in Canada. That’s a big knock against a global tournament that manufacturers and broadcasters had hoped would be the seminal event to usher in a new age of broadcasting.

The original plan announced by FIFA several months ago was to show all 25 3D broadcasts at more than 800 digitally equipped cinemas around the globe. Here in Canada, Cineplex Odeon initially showed interest in April saying the spectacle would be “well-received by our audience.” A month later the theatre chain declared it had no plans to show games.

In May, FIFA terminated its relationship with Aruna Media AG, the Swiss company licensed to sell the digital 3D broadcasts. FIFA declared it, together with Sony, was going to handle the distribution and turned to Sensio Technologies Inc. in Montreal to provide the 3D technology broadcasters will use.

Louis Rousseau, Sensio vice-president of marketing and communication, says talks with theatres are under way and new announcements are imminent.

 “The fact is, not all the games are interesting,” said Mr. Rousseau. “Full coverage starts at the quarter-finals, so we’re working with the theatres to let them pick and choose which games they want according to their market demand.”

Rather than an all-or-nothing package, he says, theatres can sign up for just the finals or almost anything in between.

“We may not have everything done by the first game but we expect to have finished up by the final at least, which is July 11,” Mr. Rousseau says.

For early adopters in Canada who have purchased 3D sets, Rogers, Cogeco, Shaw and Telus have worked out deals with CBC to broadcast the World Cup consolation final July 10 and the final on July 11.

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