Sony and FIFA have just released a list of World Cup 2010 games that'll be broadcast in 3D, with ESPN taking care of the US audience, Sogecable for Spain, and more partners to come (including eight matches for selected 3D cinemas around the world). Out of all ten stadiums, only five of these -- Soccer City and Ellis Park in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth -- are chosen for the 3D broadcast, which sadly leaves out Rustenberg and its England-USA match that most of us here anticipate. Each venue will have seven 3D-camera positions with three above the pitch and four on pitch level, and don't forget the two "3D Outside Broadcast" trucks that'll be busy shuffling between stadiums to process the footage for us all. If you end up totally loving the 3D experience, a Blu-ray 3D compilation disc will be available within 2010. This souvenir should go nicely with the updated PS3 by then -- we were told by Sony that its console's expecting its 3D upgrade around the same time as the launch of its 3D TVs, which just so happens to be around E3 as well. Boy, June sure going to be a fun one this year.
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FIFA and Sony to launch first ever global 3D experience of the FIFA World Cup™
08 April 2010

• Schedule of the 25 games in 3D announced
• Sony to release the official 3D FIFA World Cup™ film on Blu-ray Disc in 2010
• Sony to produce and show 25 exclusive promotional trailers for the official 3D Film featuring images of the FIFA World Cup in 4,000 retail stores globally
• 3D live broadcast and public viewing to be made available at selected locations globally
• Sony 3D technology as the provider of cutting-edge next-generation 3D solutions

Following the initial joint announcement to make the world's first FIFA World Cup™ available in 3D, FIFA and Sony Corporation today 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 (model: HDC-1500), the action on the pitch will be captured in a stunning 3D quality enabled through its proprietary multi-image processor (model: MPE-200) 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, including the opening game on June 11 at Soccer City (South Africa vs Mexico) and the crowning final game on July 11 also in Johannesburg. Other games to be captured in 3D are:

1. June 11 16:00h RSA v MEX
2. June 12 16:00h ARG v NGA
3. June 13 20:30h GER v AUS
4. June 14 13:30h NED v DEN
5. June 15 20:30h BRA v PRK
6. June 16 16:00h ESP v SUI
7. June 17 13:30h ARG v KOR
8. June 18 16:00h SVN v USA
9. June 19 13:30h NED v JPN
10. June 20 20:30h BRA v CIV
11. June 21 20:30h ESP v HON
12. June 22 20:30h NGA v KOR
13. June 23 20:30h GHA v GER
14. June 24 16:00h SVK v ITA
15. June 25 16:00h POR v BRA
16. June 27 20:30h 1st B v 2nd A
17. June 28 16:00h 1st E v 2nd F
18. June 28 20:30h 1st G v 2nd H
19. July 2 20:30h Quarter finals
20. July 3 16:00h Quarter finals
21. July 3 20:30h Quarter finals
22. July 6 20:30h Semi finals
23. July 7 20:30h Semi finals
24. July 10 20:30h 3rd place match
25. July 11 20:30h Final

"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," said Niclas Ericson, Director of FIFA TV. "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," he added.

In line with FIFA's and Sony's endeavour to make this new exciting 3D viewing experience available to as many football fans as possible, a dedicated global 3D public viewing project will 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.

Reaffirming its leading position at the forefront of the emerging 3D market, Sony is the key technological enabler of this new viewing experience and enhances the excitement of football fans, either watching a football match live in the stadium or enjoying a new 3D experience through 3D TV channels or at the public viewing events around the world. "Sony has long standing credentials in the creation of professional 3D technology and content for theatrical use," said Hiroko Saito, Deputy General Manager of Global Sponsorships, Sony Corporation. "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," Saito added.

Complementing the 3D live broadcast and public viewing activities, the general public will also be able to exclusively enjoy the 3D promotional trailers shown on Sony 3D BRAVIA TVs in around 4,000 Sony-affiliated retail stores worldwide, including 200 Sony flagship stores (total number of Sony-affiliated retail stores: 1,500 in North America, 1,300 in Europe, 500 in Japan, 200 in Asia, 200 in Latin America, and 30 in South Africa). Furthermore, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment today unveiled plans to produce and distribute the official FIFA film in 3D on Blu-ray Disc this year.

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Sony and FIFA release more details on World Cup 2010 3D broadcast