The World Cup is coming to the MENA region in three-dimensional television. Al Jazeera Sports Channel said it would broadcast the FIFA 2010 World Cup South Africa in television's latest technology from June 11 to July 11, in partnership with FIFA. Nasser al Khelaifi, the director general of Al Jazeera Sports Channel, said 3D production would help viewers experience the matches as if they were there.
Subscribers will have to pay a "nominal fee" for the enhanced technology, a statement from the broadcaster said. Sony Gulf announced on Wednesday that it was rolling out 3D-enabled televisions and video-game consoles in the region this year. The technology requires viewers to wear polaroid glasses. Globally, the World Cup is fast becoming the launching point for 3D technology. ESPN, the American sports broadcaster, said last month it would use the first game of the World Cup, between South Africa and Mexico, to unveil the first dedicated 3D television network.
The channel hopes to entice wealthy and fanatical viewers to adopt the technology, and is sweetening the deal by promising to broadcast at least 85 live sporting events to its new 3D channel in the first year. Discovery Communications was not far behind, announcing that it has entered a partnership with IMAX and Sony to put out a network from next year. Sky plans to roll out a 3D channel in April, and picked the English Premier League game between Arsenal and Manchester United last month as its first foray into the new technology. Al Jazeera has become a leader in sports programming in the MENA region since buying Arab Radio and Television's sports rights late last year.
The Qatari broadcaster is building two 3G studios for better transmission of high-definition and 3D signals, according to Digital Production Middle East. firstname.lastname@example.org