In a world-first, the Nine Network will broadcast State of Origin games in 3D to viewers in Sydney.
Nine has been temporarily allocated spectrum by the Federal Government for the matches, the first of which takes place on May 26th.
Around 750 3D television sets at $2500 each have been sold by Harvey Norman, which is a retail partner in the landmark event. It will open the doors to its stores on the night to allow others to experience 3D. Viewers will need wireless-enabled, active shutter glasses to watch the games.
Nine’s broadcast will be the first sporting event ever to be broadcast live in 3D on free-to-air television, ahead of the FIFA World Cup which had been widely tipped to become the first 3D terrestrial broadcast.
Nine CEO David Gyngell said, “It’s early days of course because the technology is still developing, and its availability to consumers right now is limited. But 3D is about to arrive with a bang across the world, and the Nine Network and Harvey Norman want to pioneer the revolution in Australia.
“Capturing an event in 3D involves different camera positions and viewing angles. Because 3D carries a level of emotion and involvement beyond regular HD, it can literally put you in the best seat in the house. Our experienced Wide World of Sports producers and directors will be working to harness this new technology and develop the coverage leadership for which they are renowned.”
All three State of Origin matches will be captured in 3D. Nine is working with ACMA to extend the broadcast into other capital city markets.
Senator Stephen Conroy said: “I welcome this initiative to provide to Australian viewers the first glimpse of 3D television. This trial broadcast will demonstrate the potential of 3D TV and the enhancements enabled by digital technology.”
Nine is understood to be flying in 17 technicians to oversee the event.