Half the matches for next year's Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament could be broadcast in stereo 3D following this year's four match experiment, writes Adrian Pennington.
California's 3Ality Digital is producing the 3D coverage for four IPL matches, including the final, semi-finals and a third place play-off, for the 2010 event which begins March 12.
Digital film distributor UFO Moviez (United Film Organizers) has joined with IPL distribution rights holder Crown Infotainment, to deliver all 60 matches by satellite to up to 1000 screens across India.
UFO Moviez Managing Director, Sanjay Gaikwad, told TVB Europe: "The 3D broadcast of the four IPL 2010 matches will be screened at 70 DCI-compliant screens.
"We are targeting 30-35 matches that would be shown in 3D [for the IPL] in 2011," he added. This marks not only the first live 3D broadcast in the country but the first time that the tournament has been distributed to cinemas there.
With no dedicated 3D outside broadcast equipment in the country, 3Ality will ship its active 3D camera rigs and stereo image processors to Mumbai. It will also involve its trained stereographers from the US, who will work in conjunction with India-based crew.
Analysts Screen Digest report that the country had 150 DCI-compliant cinemas at the end of 2009 run by exhibitors including PVR Cinemas, Big Cinemas, Inox, Fame India, Fun Cinemas and Cinemax India. In addition there are between 1500-2000 of the nation's 12,000 screen total converted to the lower spec e-cinema digital projection system.