FIFA Splits with 3D Broadcaster

The planned worldwide 3D theatrical telecasts of the World Cup soccer tournament are going forward -- but without the company that originally secured the rights to the project. FIFA, the governing body for the World Cup, posted a terse statement on its website Wednesday stating that the org has "terminated its relationship with Swiss company Aruna Media AG in respect of 3D public viewing rights for the 2010 FIFA World Cup with effect from 10 May 2010." The statement goes on to say that Aruna no longer has World Cup rights "or any other FIFA rights."

FIFA's deal with Aruna and tech provider Sensio was announced only five weeks ago at the NAB Show. FIFA and Sensio are keeping mum on the details of what led to the falling out, and Aruna did not respond to a request for comment. But while Aruna is out of the picture, plans for the 3D telecasts seem to be going forward. FIFA says it is now handling the rights directly, and Sensio says it is pressing on with its work, just working directly with FIFA instead of with Aruna. FIFA will use Sensio's format to send the out-of-home telecast and will tap into Sensio's network of Live3D-enabled theaters worldwide.

By David S. Cohen, Variety