Very reliable sources that cannot be disclosed have informed 3D Focus that a 3D channel from ITV is set to launch soon and will involve the channel's rights to broadcast the Rugby World Cup 2011.
Despite this, ITV’s official line is that “We have no current plans to launch a 3D channel”. An ITV spokesman told 3D Focus that "3D is an exciting development which we continue to examine, but we have no current plans to launch a 3D channel".
One might be surprised if ITV did launch a 3D channel when there is still no clear business model for 3D broadcasting. It is unlikely ITV 3D would be a subscription based channel with just an estimated 200,000 3D TV sets sold in the UK. There is also a very limited range of 3D commercials available. However, if ITV launched a branded block on the Sky 3D channel then that would appear to make more sense (this is all speculation of course!)
There are other indicators of 3D plans from ITV. Website KingOfSat.Net has previously listed the tuning in details of what seemed to be an ITV 3D test channel on the Sky platform (Astra 2B 28.2°E). Also, in 2010 ITV completed some stereoscopic test shoots of the Coronation Street titles in 3D as well as completing 3D test shoots of Countdown, Jeremy Kyle and Emmerdale.
Our source told us that ITV will be broadcasting the Rugby World Cup in 3D of which ITV owns the exclusive broadcast rights to. The Rugby World Cup 2011 will be filmed in 3D for the first time by New Zealand based specialist 3D production company 3DLive where the 3D feed of Rugby World Cup 2011 semi-finals, Bronze Final and Final will be distributed to cinemas and stadiums around New Zealand and Australia. It is said that the feed will also be available to global partners and ITV would be an obvious choice for that.
If ITV do launch a 3D channel then the Rugby World Cup 2011 will run from September 9th to October 23rd so it will likely to be then – how they would monitise that remains an interesting question.
As the BBC proved recently, it is relatively easy for a PSB to broadcast 3D content when the semi finals and finals of the Wimbledon tennis tournament was broadcast on the Sky, Virgin Media and Freesat platforms.
Details are currently difficult to obtain but as soon as more emerges, it will be posted on 3Dfocus.co.uk.
The Rugby World Cup 2011 is no longer being filmed in 3D by 3DLive which would have been an obvious springboard for ITV 3D activity but stay tuned to 3dfocus.co.uk for more news as we get it.
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