Football fails to save Canal+ 3D
In March 2011, Canal+ launched a dedicated 3D channel as part of the offer available for Canal Satellite subscribers. Each month a film and a top sporting event were aired, but the football match broadcast in December was the last one as the French audiovisual group decided to cut its 3D experience short.
“We had selected the top European Football programmes for the 3D channel,” explains François-Charles Bideaux, the director of sports production for the pay-TV channel.
Subscribers equipped with a 3D television were indeed able to follow several English Premier League matches (produced by Sky), as well as the home and away games between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. Canal+ had even produced the 3D coverage of the French Championship blockbuster game: OM vs PSG.
However, it seems that the number of football fans who watched the games in 3D were insufficient.
“Actually, the feedback from our subscribers was even more significant than the figures themselves. Many of them mentioned the fact that 3D is physically tiring. And in my opinion this is the main problem of the system. Not to mention the fact that certain people find it difficult to see in 3D,” points out Bideaux.
In addition to the physiological aspect it seems that viewers who are used to the thirty or so cameras used for 2D filming and its rich editorial content found the 3D production with its reduced number of camera angles and its limited editorial content, at this time, somewhat lacking.
“Some of our 3D subscribers made it clear that they preferred watching the matches in 2D and this was enough to convince us that the demand for 3D was not as expected. It was however a rewarding experience especially from a technical point of view. We will of course follow the developments of future 3D technology closely and will make a comeback if need be,” concludes Bideaux.