In the wake of ESPN’s decision to drop its 3D service, football’s governing body FIFA has admitted it is reconsidering 3D coverage of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, describing the decision as another setback for the format.
Niclas Ericson, FIFA’s director of television, said that it was clear when a big sports broadcaster such as ESPN made such an announcement, it created a lot of extra tension for the technology.
The 2010 World Cup in South Africa saw the first 3D coverage, with 25 of the 64 matches screened in the format, buoyed by what FIFA described at the time, as “rapidly growing consumer interest”.
“We are still reviewing whether we should do 3D for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the number of matches,” Ericson said at a briefing during the Confederations Cup tournament in Brazil.
FIFA has sent questionnaires to rights holders to assess their interest in 3D coverage for the 2014 tournament, with Ericson suggesting that there is interest from “several broadcasters” in retaining 3D feeds. He added that FIFA was still reviewing the cost of it.
As to whether the limited appeal for 3D was temporary and would come back in a few years in a new way “we don’t know” he admitted, adding that FIFA was spending most of its efforts on high definition coverage “and that’s most important for us”.