Rugby World Cup abandons 3D plans

New Zealand: Plans to capture key matches of September’s Rugby World Cup in 3D have been dramatically shelved at the last minute, though the organisers have confirmed all 48 matches from New Zealand will be produced in HD and 5.1 by host broadcaster SKY New Zealand.
Features available to all 200 international territories taking the feed will include wirecam technology for key matches and the use of changing room cameras for the first time at a Rugby World Cup (which, knowing rugby teams, could prove interesting).

However, the long-mooted 3D coverage has been canned. Here’s what Rugby World Cup Limited said in a statement:

“Previous plans to produce 3D coverage of key matches from the Tournament, including the Final, have been reluctantly cancelled after it was confirmed that the production company 3D Live, is no longer able to meet its production commitments.”

RWCL Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “On confirmation of 3D Live’s position, we explored every option to try to make production viable. However, with so little time remaining before the tournament kicks off we all agreed that cancelling the 3D programme was the most appropriate decision for the Tournament. We have kept our broadcast partners informed and they fully understand the rationale behind this difficult decision.”

Ronel Schodt, MD of 3D Live, lays the blame firmly at the door of slow ticket sales at the venues which were due to screen the 3D coverage on giant screens, with reportedly only 10% of seats sold. “That caused some cashflow problems, but when we tried to sort some sponsorship and advertising out it became very difficult under the RWCL sponsorship rules.”

She says every avenue was tried before the decision was eventually reached. “All I can say is that we are devastated that this will not be happening and I do believe there will be regrets in four years time.

“I will emphasise that 3D is the way Sport should be watched. Although in these early stages no production in 3D can be done without sponsorship.”

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