In the latest sporting event to jump off the big screen, Fox will produce a 3-D broadcast of college football’s Jan. 8 Bowl Championship Series National Championship Game between the University of Florida and University of Oklahoma, which will be transmitted to 80 theaters nationwide.
The game will be shot using 3ality Digital's 3-D image-capture technology and transmitted live via Cinedigm Digital Cinema's satellite-distribution network from Dolphin Stadium in Miami.
“Oklahoma and Florida fans will have the opportunity to buy a ticket and attend in whatever city they live in and get the impression that they’re there, on the field,” 3ality chairman David Modell said in an interview. “It’s a hot property, with two Heisman trophy winners facing off.”
Ticket prices have not yet been set, but Modell said they would probably be more expensive than a regular movie ticket. He added that the companies involved will be looking to gauge “how consumers react in buying tickets.”
The BCS will precede another high-profile 3-D sports telecast: The National Basketball Association and Turner Sports will bring a live 3-D telecast of the NBA’s All-Star Saturday night festivities Feb. 14 to about 80 theaters, also in partnership with Cinedigm.
Meanwhile, the National Football League tested out 3eality’s technology with the NFL Network’s Dec. 4 Chargers-Raiders broadcast.
For the BCS game, Burbank, Calif.-based 3ality will use Sony 1500 HD cameras specially modified for stereoscopic production and transmission of the game. According to Modell, 3ality’s technology automatically adjusts the cameras for 3-D imaging, allowing a camera operator to shoot as if it were a conventional broadcast.
In addition to movie theater distribution, Sony Electronics will host an invitation-only screening of the BCS game at the CES show in Las Vegas with more than 1,200 guests. The event, at the Paris Hotel and Casino's Theatre des Arts, will use Sony’s SXRD 4K projection technology combined with RealD's 3-D system.
Gamecreek Video will provide the high-definition mobile video production unit for the game, working with the 3ality’s camera rigs and image-processing systems on-site in Miami.