Canal+ to broadcast le clasico français in 3D

France: Olympique de Marseille versus Paris Saint-Germain, le clasico français and the blockbuster game of first division French football, is to be broadcast this Sunday evening in stereo 3D by Canal+, writes SVG Europe French Correspondent, Fabrice Marinoni.

Games between Olympique de Marseille and Paris Saint-Germain are always headline news material in the French media, and with good reason as the two sides are among the most emblematic of first division football clubs – the biggest club in Paris versus the biggest club from the rest of the country.

Canal+, the principal championship broadcasting company, has decided to offer a 3D service in addition to its normal 2D broadcasting. And, in order to acquaint subscribers with 3D, the Canal+ Group is showing a monthly film and football game on a dedicated special 3D channel, which started with the Manchester derby from the EPL back in February which was produced by BSkyB.

The OM/PSG match, however, is a fully domestic affair. François-Charles Bideaux, director of Canal+’s sports production department, will be at the helm of the 3D production.

“The move to 3D imaging implies several changes of a technical nature,” he says. “There are 10 camera positions as opposed to 26 positions for 2D production. We therefore have to rethink how a football game should be filmed so that the viewer does not miss out on any shots. Sequence shots are added in. In order to take full advantage of the 3D effect we need to reposition our cameras lower than those used for 2D broadcasting – we need to be closer to the pitch.”

By using ten 3D camera positions, Canal+ is able to offer an even higher performance than that of the 2010 World Cup where “only” 8 camera positions were used. In addition there are six 2D systems, (including a Steadicam) souped up to 3D capabilities and ready to provide other sources if necessary. AMP Visual provides the outside broadcast truck, used for the 3D production, while the 3D graphics are created by Orad.

“For producers, 3D imaging technology is a very interesting challenge as it forces us to start from scratch. We are obliged to totally reconsider the way we work, which we have not done in a very long time!” continues Bideaux.

3D production cost estimates are currently about 20% higher than simultaneous 2D broadcasting.

French football clubs and stadium owners have now become aware of just how important the quality of TV production really is. Ideally future stadiums should be designed to accommodate appropriate spaces for 3D cameras as they become increasingly present in the field of sports. Local authorities, site stakeholders and distributors need to work together and discuss these issues but there is a long road ahead of us…

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