Final Games of the 2008 IIHF World Championship to be Covered in 3D
In a ground-breaking trial, the final games of the 2008 IIHF World Championship, which is currently taking place in Canada, will be covered live in 3D HDTV. There will be 3D trial coverage of the semi-finals on May 16, the 3rd place game on May 17 and the Final on Sunday, May 18, 2008, which takes place at the Quebec Colisée. This is the first time that a major ice hockey tournament is being produced in 3D.
This 3D production is incorporated into the overall host broadcast, which is being carried out under the supervision of Infront Production and Host Broadcast Services (HBS) and helps establish 3D sports coverage as a future distribution option for major sports events. Infront and HBS have chosen to work with The3DFirm, based in London, to implement this innovative production based on their leading edge work with 3D relating to sports.
All games taking place in Quebec are being produced in HD quality, with more than 20 cameras for each game. In addition, four specialist 3D rigs comprising dual HD cameras will capture the action on the ice in 3D. The special rigs have been designed to not only cope with the intricacies of 3D filming but also to work seamlessly with existing HDTV broadcast equipment. The 3D signal will be generated "as live" for recording proving the way for future full production possibilities.
3D is on the rise – offering great potential for sport
3D is currently in an intense phase of development and resurgence as a result of new technology. Its potential has been long recognised by many entertainment sectors. A number of Hollywood studios are now increasing investment in the field with a number of new films being released, with others already in production; DreamWorks has committed to producing all its movies in 3D from 2009. There is also a steady increase in the number of cinemas investing in digital technology to attract audiences back into movie theatres and to put some distance between themselves and the burgeoning homecinema market. First steps towards in-home delivery of 3D programming have also been taken by some broadcasters. In Japan and South Korea, broadcasters already offer stereoscopic transmissions on a regular basis.
"The rapid development of 3D creates a strong demand for content and we believe that 3D HDTV programming of major sports events will be one of the future winners in the entertainment market. 3D creates new exciting viewing opportunities and a viewer experience which is very similar to actually being at the game," said Francis Tellier, Head of Infront’s Production Unit and CEO of HBS. IIHF President René Fasel said: "We are excited with the prospects that this innovative 3D technology can create for the sport of ice hockey. This will bring the excitement of our sport - almost literally - to the fans not able to attend in person. We're pleased to be working with Infront on this project." Bruno Marty, Infront’s Executive Director Winter Sport, added: "3D rights will become increasingly valuable to sports rights-holders and the 3D experience also creates entirely new communication and promotion platforms for sponsors. The potential for sport is huge."
Philippe Blatter, President and CEO of Infront, commented: "It is our aim to lead the industry through innovation and we try to shift it towards new directions in many business areas. The Infront Group is investing in groundbreaking production technologies like 3D HDTV, as we strongly believe that they are a key differentiator in the fast changing media and marketing environment and an important value driver."
3D coverage of major sports events is made possible by a new technology that allows live transmission of multiplexed/compressed 3D stereo signals in HD. This technology will become more affordable over the next months and years as technology evolves, making broad distribution to theatres/public viewing screens viable. 3D is also becoming increasingly affordable for in-house usage, with viewing options like 3D LCD screens that require no glasses.
The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and its exclusive commercial partner for the annual IIHF World Championship, Infront Sports & Media, are determined to maintain their innovative approach to the media coverage of ice hockey. The 3D feed of the Finals in Quebec will also provide valuable footage to showcase Infront’s and HBS’s capabilities in the area of 3D.
For further information, please contact:
Manager, Communication & PR
Infront Sports & Media AG
Tel. +41-41-723 15 15
Fax +41-41-723 15 16
Host Broadcast Services AG
Tel. +33-1-55 19 20 08
Fax. +33-1-55 19 20 03