- Nov 3, 2010
Sony has partnered up with the All England Lawn Tennis Club to film the world's most prestigious tennis event in 3D, with cinemas the likely recipients of the footage, although broadcast deals are being sought.
However, like the World Cup, Wimbledon has to be screened on terrestrial channels - the BBC in this case – which means that Sky will almost certainly not be able to pick up the 3D rights for the UK's only 3D channel.
"Sony and The All England Lawn Tennis Club today announced their official supplier partnership to bring Wimbledon in 3D to suitably equipped cinemas around the world, offering the perfect opportunity for fans to experience the Championships like never before in a completely new environment, while retaining all the excitement and atmosphere of the famous Centre Court," stated Sony.
"Sony will produce the men's semi-finals, finals and women's finals in High Definition 3D as the official supplier of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships.
"To bring the excitement of 3D tennis to interested 3D cinema chains worldwide, Sony will work with SuperVision Media, their theatrical distribution partners.
"The 3D production will also be offered to interested global broadcasters seeking unique and compelling content for their 3D channels.The two parties will also seek further possibilities to deliver 3D tennis to a much wider audience over time."
BBC 3D? Nah
So unless the BBC is launching a previously denied 3D channel any time soon, don't hold your breath for live 3D tennis.
On the bright side, Sony's announcement is indicative of a growing rise in filming major events in 3D.
Sky is broadcasting many key sports in 3D now, and the World Cup last summer was filmed in 3D as well, along with many other events from the worlds of arts and leisure.
Wimbledon is still regarded as one of the crown jewels of the British sporting calendar, and tennis is one of the sports that has been filmed in 3D before, including the French Open at Roland Garros last year.
Heritage in 3D
Ian Ritchie, Chief Executive of The All England Lawn Tennis Club, said, "Wimbledon is renowned for its heritage and sense of tradition.
"At the same time we are always looking for ways to improve the presentation of The Championships by successfully blending that tradition with innovation.
"We are delighted that our 3D partnership with Sony will not only guarantee we are at the cutting edge of live sporting television, but also deliver a compelling new viewing experience for our global audiences, especially amongst our younger supporters."