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Sony inks World Cup deal

8 September 2012
Sony inks World Cup deal

FIFA’s host broadcaster HBS has contracted Sony to provide all the outside broadcast facilities and technical crew at all 12 venues in Rio for the Brazil World Cup in 2014, as well as a test venue next year during the Confederations Cup.

Sony is an official sponsor of FIFA and in 2010 South Africa supplied the facilities and substantial funding to produce 25 matches in 3D. For the past two World Cups Grass Valley has supplied all the main OB crew and facilities.

The facilities for Brazil are being concentrated on 2D HD and include at least 408 cameras, 34 per stadia. Given the size of the country, all the core infrastructure will remain in situ at the venues with key kit and crews transported between venues.

FIFA is about to start discussions with broadcasters about demands for 3D production in Brazil.

“We need to evaluate how much it will cost and whether it is possible for FIFA to finance that,” said Francis Tellier, HBS CEO. “It can end up as everything – which is hard, nothing or one match a day.”

As to Ultra-HD, which has already been so much of a theme at this year’s IBC, Tellier had some strong words. “It is a brilliant format but there is a danger for the industry in communicating to the public that U-HD is available now. U-HD is a technology demo and if it is being compared with 3D – which it was in London [Olympics] – it creates confusion. 3D is available now and you cannot expect U-HD to go mainstream for 20 years. If FIFA say they would like to shoot the final in Rio in U-HD then of course we will. But our duty as an advisor to FIFA is to make it clear what is available now, tomorrow and in ten years and we will not add to that confusion.”
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