Now’s your chance: Wimbledon is going 3-D.
The men’s semifinals and men’s and women’s finals at this summer’s tournament will be shown live by 3-D-capable movie theaters around the world. Wimbledon becomes the latest major sporting event to be available in 3-D.
The deal was announced Monday as part of the Wimbledon’s multiyear partnership with Sony.
All England Club chief executive Ian Ritchie says “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.”
The coverage will also be offered to any interested global broadcasters as part of a collaboration deal with Wimbledon host broadcaster, the BBC.
With the surge in popularity of 3-D televisions and films, it seems more and more producers are scrambling to create 3-D programming. Not surprisingly, sports outlets have taken the lead. ESPN 3D televised the first NBA game Dec. 17, when the Miami Heat visited the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. In June, ESPN 3D will produce every game (all seven if necessary) of the NBA Finals for the time ever. In April, ESPN 3D will feature 10 hours of Masters coverage from Augusta National Golf Club. Launched in during the 2010 World Cup in June, ESPN 3D plans to telecast more than 100 live events in its first year.
The Wimbledon finals will be the first time a women’s sporting event will be produced in 3-D (if anyone knows of another, please let me know). Wimbledon has always been on the forefront of parity, including equal prize money for men and women, so it’s nice to know they’re featuring the women’s championship in glorious 3-D as well.
3D will not only change the way you watch TV, it will also change the way broadcasters shoot TV. In order to take advantage of the technology, directors will use lower camera angles, less camera panning/zooming and fewer “live edits”.
Tennis is actually one sport that 3D could enhance significantly. Watching it in high definition 3D will be a stunning experience, bringing the speed of the action and the emotions of the occasion to life; it is as close to the atmosphere and excitement of Centre Court as actually being there. So if you can’t make it to Wimbledon this year, you can still have a virtual seat at your favorite sporting event. Just don’t get in the line of fire of a blazing ace.