U.S. Open Nets Expanded 3D Coverage

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Rafael Nadal, the 2010 men's U.S. Open champion

CBS Sports, Panasonic and USTA are reteaming to present an extended 3D telecast this year.

Host broadcaster CBS Sports, sponsor Panasonic and the U.S. Tennis Association will broadcast the U.S. Open Tennis Championships in 3D for a second year.

Expanded 3D coverage this year will include all Arthur Ashe Stadium matches that are broadcast in HD both on Labor Day weekend and on finals weekend, as well as select matches from Louis Armstrong Stadium. 

The 3D broadcasts will use a separate crew and equipment from the HD broadcasts. Court coverage will again be based around broadcast cameras using the Shadow 3D rigs designed by the Cameron Pace Group, the company co-founded by James Cameron and Vince Pace.

A preproduction model of Panasonic’s soon to be released handheld Full HD 3D professional camcorder will be used as part of the match and grounds coverage.

"With our additional cameras and enhanced camera positions, including low, court-level positions, viewers will feel like they’re actually on the court with some of the world’s greatest players," said Harold Byrant, executive producer and vp production at CBS Sports. 

Last year’s 3D production of the U.S. Open was recognized with a 2010 Emmy Award for technical achievement.

The 3D telecasts of the U.S. Open will again be available on DirecTV's n3D. This year, Comcast will also carry the 3D feed on Xfinity 3D. The men's and women's finals will be streamed live in 3D on USOpen.org.

A key question surrounds the potential size of the audience for 3D. Research firm DisplaySearch projects that about 20 million 3DTVs will be sold worldwide by the end of 2011.

At the U.S. Open, Panasonic will host 3D public viewing areas featuring its Viera Full HD 3DTVs.

Earlier this summer, Sony, All England Lawn Tennis Club, and Wimbledon host broadcaster BBC, offered 3D coverage of the Wimbledon Tennis Championship. ESPN3D carried the 3D coverage in the U.S., along with select digital cinema venues.