Future 3D World Cups Dependent on Demand

All 64 matches of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil will be covered in stereo 3D provided rights holders can profit from the production. While the technology needed to produce consecutive live 3D was proven by FIFA in South Africa the commercial model remains untested.

“I would love to do all 64 matches in 3D but right now there is no clear model as to how live 3D sports broadcasts are going to get monetised,” Peter Angell, director of production and programming, HBS told TVB Europe. “The decision will depend on whether broadcasters and cinema operators believe there is a sustainable revenue stream in order to bid for and acquire the rights.”

Budgets for live 3D sports will remain high while a separate 3D production of an event is needed. Angell believes some sports, like tennis, could happily accommodate the same camera angle and editorial coverage for both 2D and 3D, but that this is not applicable to soccer.

“The overwhelming feedback we received was that 3D football production needs to be vastly different to 2D,” he says. “With 3D football, take everything you know about 2D coverage and throw it away. You need cameras in different positions and they are used in a completely different way.”

Angell also stated that dual stream production in which both signals are kept separate rather than compressed side by side throughout the chain was, for HBS at least, the way forward.

“I believe there’s no risk to operating dual stream and the benefit is you keep quality at the highest resolution,” he says. “We’ll definitely be taking a dual stream approach through to transmission going forward.”

By Adrian Pennington, TVB Europe