Enlarge Photo November 25, 2008 – BURBANK, Calif. — The National Football League, 3ality Digital and RealD today announced they will join forces to test a three-dimensional broadcast experience that could create a new home viewing standard for televised sports.
The first-ever live broadcast of an NFL game in full digital 3D format, being made available Dec. 4 to select audiences in three U.S. cities, is designed to immerse viewers in the game as never before.
The groundbreaking broadcast – featuring NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football game between the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders – will be shot and transmitted by 3ality Digital and shown to invited guests at RealD 3D-enabled theaters in Boston, Hollywood and New York City. The three- dimensional nature of the broadcast, which incorporates near pixel-perfect quality, is able to convey the sense among viewers that they are actually on the field with the players.
Just as high-definition broadcasts have enhanced the home viewing experience in recent years, digital 3D broadcasts will set a new broadcast standard in the months and years to come. The upcoming NFL game will demonstrate the unprecedented picture quality viewers will soon be able to enjoy in their homes.
“The NFL has played an important role in the evolution of media and consumer acceptance of emerging technologies and we’re pleased to work with 3ality Digital and RealD to glimpse into the future,” said Howard Katz, the NFL’s senior vice president of broadcasting and media operations. “This broadcast will be an exciting test of how 3D could affect fans’ experience in the future.”
Burbank-based 3ality Digital is overseeing production and transmission of the 3D broadcast. The company has established itself as the leading provider of digital 3D offerings by bringing to market the first live action film shot entirely in digital 3D (U2 3D), the first transatlantic 3D broadcast (Jeffrey Katzenberg interview at IBC) and the first scripted television show shot entirely in live digital 3D (NBC’s “Chuck”).
“Digital 3D broadcasting provides a compelling and visceral experience for viewers, one that is shaping the evolution of a new content delivery standard,” said 3ality Digital CEO Sandy Climan. “We already have demonstrated the tremendous value digital 3D brings to mainstream movies and scripted television programs, and we are looking forward to astounding the audiences who will be enjoying this unprecedented event on December fourth.”
RealD, based in Beverly Hills, Calif., specializes in bringing the most advanced digital 3D projection capabilities to cinemas worldwide. RealD’s next-generation 3D experience has garnered more than 90% of the global market for 3D cinema. Currently, with over 100 exhibition partners, more than 5,500 worldwide screens are committed to install RealD’s platform. The company will be providing access to RealD 3D-enabled theatres for the NFL event, as well as contributing 3D-capable television monitors to provide an advance look at the television viewing experience of the future.
“As boxing fans once gathered at local theatres to see heavyweight title matches in the era before pay-per-view and plasma televisions, RealD’s new technology will give audiences another reason to head to the theatre,” explained Michael Lewis, chairman and CEO of RealD. “The continued box office success and the strong audience response to films released on RealD’s platform have shown that consumers crave a premium 3D cinematic experience. We look forward to giving fans of live events the opportunity to feel like they’re in the front row without even being there.”
Next month’s broadcast is the latest in the NFL’s ongoing efforts to use technology to enhance fans’ enjoyment of the sport. Decades ago, the NFL was the first sports league to establish weekly sports programming on primetime television in 1970 with Monday Night Football. In the years since, the league has been at the forefront of emerging media, including cable and satellite television, satellite radio, online and mobile phones.
The Dec. 4 broadcast, which is being produced by 3ality Digital and presented in RealD, will be transmitted live to invited audiences in the three theaters. Supporting this first-of-its-kind event are Clearview Cinemas, Mann Theatres and National Amusements, all industry leaders who have long embraced 3D and RealD. Collectively, all three circuits have over 160 RealD theatre locations, with major expansions planned for 2009. Technicolor Digital Cinema is providing the satellite transponder time and digital downlink services to each theater.
About 3ality Digital
3ality Digital is a state-of-the-art entertainment company that uses advanced technologies to power uniquely dynamic content and audience experiences in 3D. The company’s mission is to deliver pixel-perfect 3D entertainment from image capture through broadcast, regardless of viewing platform. Based in Burbank, Calif., 3ality Digital brings together world-class experts in the fields of filmmaking, science and technology to develop environments in which audience members feel the action and become part of the moment. The company’s debut production, U2 3D, was the first movie shot entirely in digital live action 3D, and is nearing $20M in global box office, making it one of the highest-grossing concert films of all time.
RealD is the global leader in 3D, bringing the most advanced and enjoyable digital 3D experience to cinemas worldwide. RealD’s next-generation technology, deployed across the world’s largest 3D platform in 29 countries with more than 1,500 installations worldwide, provides a stunningly realistic viewing experience. The impact of 3D upon today’s moviemaking has been compared to the advent of color film when once there was only black and white. Beyond cinema, RealD is the worldwide inventor and provider of key stereoscopic technologies used in science, manufacturing, marketing, and other industries, with thirty years of scientific development behind its systems. RealD’s mission-critical 3D visualization technologies are used by organizations such as NASA, Pfizer, BMW, Boeing and more. For more information, visit http://www.reald.com/.
CONTACT: Brian McCarthy, NFL, +1-212-450-2069; Dave Curley, Hillman PRfor 3ality Digital, +1-443-683-0920; Gina Lang, RealD, +1-310-248-6105