Despite apparent continuing interest in a 3D broadcast of select matches from China’s CCTV and Al Jazeera, the loss of the major US carrier [ESPN] renders 3D production in Brazil financially unviable and probably not worth the hassle of conducting a second production experiment alongside that of Ultra HD. One problem still not solved from 2010 is the positioning of 3D cameras in World Cup stadia. With approximately double the footprint of 2D kit, the cameras take up valuable stadium seating, an issue that can only be offset if selling sufficient 3D rights to make commercial sense.
Meanwhile Sony, FIFA official sponsor, 2014 technical production partner and financial backer to the 2010 3D World Cup production, is placing the majority of its R&D and marketing behind 4K live. Sony hopes the World Cup 2014 will not only prove 4K live workflows using its technology to the industry, but provide a high-profile impetus to global sales of Ultra HD displays.
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Telegenic, which provided one of two dedicated 3D production facilities for World Cup 2010, will be fielding its T25 truck in Brazil for the 4K work. This is the same vehicle from which Sony successfully conducted 4K live tests at the FIFA Confederations Cup from the country last July.
Limiting FIFA’s options further, the cancellation of ESPN 3D led to the closure of the 3D OB wing of its chief supplier, Cameron Pace Group. CPG sold its four 3D sports trucks to Canada’s Dome Productions – which promptly reverted them to 2D assets. FIFA added that it “remains open to the possibility of using the 3D format at future tournaments.”
Three matches will be shot in 4K. That will include one match from the round of 16, to be held on June 28; one match from the quarterfinals, on July 4; and the final, on July 13 at the Estadio do Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro. Additionally, Sony and FIFA will jointly produce the Official 2014 FIFA World Cup Film in 4K.
The 4K feed from the three matches will be made available to select FIFA rights-holder broadcasters for a 4K transmission trial to homes (viewers can see this feed in 4K on an Ultra HD TV.) While broadcasters have not yet been announced, one could assume Brazil’s TV Globo, which has already been testing 4K, is among them. The live 4K coverage will also be made available in select cinemas around the world.
FIFA intends to release the official film online via 4K content distribution services after the World Cup. Again, distribution services were not named, but those already promoting 4K plans include Netflix.