Viewers Give First 3D Broadcast of Football Match Thumbs up

History was made in London when football fans got to watch the world's first broadcast of a match in 3D format and they hailed the experience saying it is better than being in the stadium.

Sky Sports broadcast the Arsenal versus Manchester United game to nine pubs across the UK using the latest polarised 3D method.

"The 3D looks great close up but on the wide shots it flattens out. It's definitely an enhancement. I go to watch a lot of games live and in some way this is better, but it really depends where you are in the stadium," quoted Paul Kelly, 45, as saying.

The Daily Mail newspaper website quoted another fan David Wubelski, 71, who said: "I've been watching Arsenal for 60 years and went to a game four weeks ago and this is better - the close-ups are fantastic but the wide angle is not quite so impressive.

"Wearing the glasses is fine, you don't even notice it. I don't normally go to a pub to watch a game but I'd consider it if it was being shown in 3D."

The live broadcast from the Emirates Stadium in north London served as a preview for Sky's full 3D channel, which goes live in April.

Sky aired two live feeds from the game - one to its traditional Sky Sports customers and another in 3D. And they had two separate commentary teams, two camera crews and two production teams who produced the simultaneous broadcasts.

Ex-Gunner Alan Smith and commentator Alan Parry became the first voices of live 3D sport.

As Arsenal kicked off, Parry said: "You'll see every shot, every tackle and every save in a way you've never seen before. I'm sure it will revolutionise the way we watch live sports."

As the number of 3D TVs arriving in Britain increases, Sky promises to broadcast a weekly 3D Premier League game to hundreds more pubs this spring.

And in the home, its 1.6 million Sky+HD customers (figure from September 2009) will be able to watch the 3D channel at no extra charge.

The broadcaster has been developing its 3D system for two years and its team even travelled to the US to visit the pioneer of modern 3D cinema, "Avatar" director James Cameron.

Watching the 3D broadcast at the Emirates Stadium Sky Sports' director of operations Darren Long said: "This is a historic day for us, this is not a trick... this is normal, this is where we're going to go.

"It's like having a front row seat that moves around the pitch all the time. If you've got a front row seat then of course you've got the best seat in the house until the action happens away from you.

"Now we've got all the action happening in front of you with all the depth that comes with it."

Long said next season every Super Sunday Premier League match on Sky Sports will also be available in 3D.

Published Date: Feb 01, 2010 12:29 pm | Updated Date: Feb 01, 2010 12:29 pm