CBS, Panasonic, USTA To Serve More U.S. Open 3D Matches
Select Contests From Louis Armstrong Stadium Will Complement Enhanced Telecasts From Main Arthur Ashe Venue
By Mike Reynolds
CBS Sports, Panasonic and the U.S. Tennis Association will go to the net more often with an expanded 3D schedule from the 2011 U.S. Open Tennis Championships.
After providing 3D weekend coverage from Arthur Ashe Stadium during last year's U.S. Open, the partners will provide enhanced presentations of the racquet action from that main show court, as well as select matches from Louis Armstrong Stadium.
DirecTV's n3D again will pick up the 3D Open telecasts. This year, Comcast will also carry the 3D feed on Xfinity 3D. Distribution discussions are ongoing with other potential affiliates. The men's and women's finals also will be streamed live in 3D on USOpen.org.
Panasonic and DirecTV will also proffer live CBS Sports 3D broadcasts of the Open semifinal and final matches to hundreds of TV retail outlets nationwide, including scores of Best Buy stores, according to the parties.
ESPN and Tennis Channel, the other domestic rights-holders to the Grand Slam tourney, do not plan any 3D coverage from the 2011 event.
ESPN3D, which has college football on tap during the Open, aired some marquee matches from the most recent Wimbledon fortnight, while Tennis took its first serve at 3D with French Open fare over Memorial Day weekend.
CBS will produce 3D versions of all Arthur Ashe Stadium matches that it broadcasts in high-definition both on Labor Day weekend and on Finals weekend, Sept. 9-11.
Last year's 3D production of the 2010 US Open Tennis Championships - with the first world-wide 3D broadcast of a tennis major, CBS aired action from Ashe on the tourney's middle weekend, including Labor Day and the championship matches -- was honored with a 2010 Emmy Award for technical achievement
This year's expanded 3D broadcast coverage will include new, 3D-specific positions designed by the telecast partners to provide the best perspectives. The action will be covered by 10 3D broadcast cameras and a high-speed 3D replay system. The overall court coverage will again be based around the innovative 3D broadcast camera shadow rigs designed by the Cameron Pace Group and used last year.
"With our additional cameras and enhanced camera positions, including low, court-level positions, viewers will feel like they're actually on the court with some of the world's greatest players," said Harold Byrant, executive producer and vice president of production at CBS Sports in announcing coverage plans.
Panasonic - which returns as the official 3D electronics sponsor of the Open, as well as sponsor of CBS Sports' 2D and 3D US Open telecasts - will again enable fans at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center to experience the immersive world of 3D via public viewing galleries featuring the latest large-screen Viera full HD 3D TVs.
These on-site Panasonic "Experience Amazing" exhibits again will demonstrate a wide range of 3D programming, including movies and live TV events. They will also showcase Panasonic's Viera Connect technology in web-connected TVs and Blu-ray Disc players, which feature Skype video calling, Facebook, Twitter and more. The Panasonic Experience Amazing 3D exhibits can be foundon the ground level of Louis Armstrong Stadium, at the Panasonic 3D Gaming Center within the SmashZone, and at the Panasonic Viera Connect booth in the South Plaza in front of Court 10.