- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 27, 2010

LONDON | British network Sky Sports says it will broadcast the world’s first live sports event in 3-D when Arsenal hosts Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday.

Soccer fans will wear special glasses at nine pubs across Britain and Ireland, providing the public’s first taste of live 3-D soccer ahead of Sky’s dedicated channel launching in April.

Previous 3-D trials have been limited to closed-circuit broadcasts in Britain and the United States — including one on the giant screens at the Dallas Cowboys’ new stadium during a game — but the BSkyB channel will be transmitting Sunday’s match via regular satellite decoder boxes to selected pubs in Britain and Ireland.

Sky is claiming the 3-D milestone a week before England’s meeting with Wales in the Six Nations rugby tournament was due to be the first.

The United States won’t witness live sports in 3-D until June, when ESPN broadcasts the World Cup.

Sky’s technology team, which has been developing 3-D systems for two years, sought help from “Avatar” director James Cameron.

“James is a massive evangelist about 3-D and he lives, breathes and eats 3-D and just wants to see good 3-D out there,” Sky Sports director of operations Darren Long said. “For him, it was about how we were going to do it, what equipment we were going to use, what were our filming techniques. He’s all about ‘Get the message out there, get it out well and to the people properly.’”

BSkyB is controlled by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., which holds a 39 percent stake.

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