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US Open gets expanded 3D coverage

As host broadcaster for the US Open Tennis Championships this week, CBS Sports is covering it in 3D for a second year with greatly expanded coverage, in conjunction with the USTA and Panasonic.

As host broadcaster, CBS Sports is covering the US Open Tennis Championships in 3D for a second year from Flushing Meadow. Expanded 3D coverage, for the sport’s national governing body, USTA, and Panasonic, includes all Arthur Ashe Stadium matches that are broadcast in HD both on Labor Day weekend (weekend just passed) and on finals weekend, as well as select matches from Louis Armstrong Stadium, writes Adrian Pennington.

The court is covered with ten 3D broadcast cameras using the Cameron Pace Group’s Shadow rigs plus a high-speed 3D replay.

A pre-production model of Panasonic’s new 3DP1 handheld Full HD 3D professional camcorder is being used to provide match and grounds coverage. The 3D broadcasts will use a separate crew and equipment from the HD broadcasts.

“As we saw from last year, there may be no better sport to broadcast in 3D than tennis,” said Harold Byrant, executive producer and VP, Production, CBS Sports.

“With our additional cameras and enhanced camera positions, including low, court-level positions, viewers will feel like they’re actually on the court with some of the world’s greatest players. CBS Sports is once again looking forward to using this groundbreaking technology during our coverage of the US Open Tennis Championships. This year, as action and play dictate, we will also have the ability to cover the matches from Louis Armstrong Stadium in 3D.”

The 3D broadcast is being carried by DirecTV’s n3D (of which Panasonic is a sponsor) and on Comcast’s Xfinity 3D.

Last year’s 3D production of the 2010 US Open Tennis Championships was honoured with a 2010 Emmy Award for technical achievement.