Australia to broadcast World Cup games in 3D

SBS to show 15 matches in new format

SYDNEY -- While it is hoped that the Socceroos can make history at the upcoming World Cup tournament, the Australian national soccer team will be making history of another kind next Monday, when its “friendly” match against New Zealand -- the last international match the team plays before it heads to South Africa -- becomes the first TV event to be broadcast in 3D in Australia, with paynet Fox Sports hosting the broadcast.

The announcement came the same day as official World Cup broadcaster in Australia, free to air network, SBS confirmed plans to broadcast up to 15 games in the World Cup in 3D here, and follows last month's announcement by the Nine Network that it will be the first terrestrial
broadcaster globally to broadcast in 3D, with the upcoming State Of Origin rugby league games.

Each channel’s coverage will be provided on a standalone, 3D, HD channel, on spectrum set aside by broadcast regulator the Australian Communications and Media Authority on a trial basis from May, June and July.

All free to air 3D TV broadcasts on Nine and SBS will be available in the five Australian provincial capitals, while the Fox Sports Socceroos 3D broadcast will be available nationally through both Foxtel and Austar.

For the World Cup the selected 3D matches will be broadcast live by SBS and repeated on a loop until the next 3D match is made available, giving fans multiple opportunities to experience the match in 3D.

“SBS and our partners have moved heaven and earth to make this happen,” SBS chief operating officer Richard Finlayson said. “The Australian Communications and Media Authority has been working with us on a spectrum solution and we will be using our digital transmission network for the broadcast.”

Fox Sports chief executive David Malone said: "Fox Sports is proud to be making history by delivering an Australian television first to viewers around the country. This live and exclusive Socceroos 3D experience is Fox Sports next step in an ongoing quest to take the sports broadcasting experience to exciting new levels for all Australian fans."

3D-capable TV sets from all major manufacturers, only went on sale in Australia last month, at a base retail price of AUS$2,500 ($2250). It is unclear how many sets have been sold to date.

FIFA and Sony are providing 25 World Cup matches to broadcasters globally in 3D. SBS have yet to announce which 15 of those will be broadcast here in 3D, although FIFA has included the German-Australian group match on June 13 in its 3D broadcast schedule, as well as all games for the quarter finals onwards.

There is no word yet if any of the 3D broadcasts will be available in 3D cinemas or if any pubs, clubs or out of home venues are gearing up for the 3D telecasts. Sky Sports in the U.K. trialed some 3D broadcasts of English Premier League games earlier this year in a handful of pubs and clubs around the U.K. installing 3D capable TV screens and providing patrons with 3D glasses.