German Sky launches 3D soccer

Company shows off technology to celebrities

BERLIN — Feevee Sky Deutschland made history on Sunday with Germany’s first 3D HDTV broadcast — a Bundeliga soccer match between Bayer Leverkusen and Hamburg SV — to a select audience of 120 in Munich.

Sky, formerly known as Premiere, passed out 3D glasses to the celebrity-filled crowd watching the match at a Munich beer hall. Sky, which has been struggling with losses and slower-than-expected gains in subscribers, acknowledged it was only a glimpse of the future, but proudly reported the experiment, witnessed by top soccer execs, was a great success.

“Without question HDTV offers viewers the most exciting TV experience there is and today we made TV history,” said Brian Sullivan, Sky’s deputy CEO until he takes the reins on April 1.

Sky said the paybox also had the world’s first HDTV broadcast in 2005.

“We’ve seen on this memorable evening what will be possible with HDTV in the future. 3D is the HD experience of the future and the logical next step for HDTV.”

Sky, which holds the Bundeliga’s live rights, produced the 3D soccer broadcast that ran parallel to its usual HD broadcast with the help of an additional nine 3D cameras.

“The images that I saw here today are fantastic,” said Franz Beckenbauer, a former Germany coach and TV analyst. “I’ve seen a lot of developments in TV coverage of soccer over the years. I’m sure that with 3D we’re at the start of a whole new era for TV technology.”

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