BCS title game to air in 3-D

Published 12:35 am Wednesday, December 17, 2008

College football live in 3-D is coming soon — possibly to a theater near you.

Thanks to an impressive — though not glitch-free — test broadcast of an NFL game two weeks ago, Burbank, Calif.-based 3ality Digital said Tuesday it had won the contract to shoot the Jan. 8 BCS National Championship game in 3-D.

The game between Florida and Oklahoma will be broadcast live in 3-D to 80 to 100 movie theaters in about 30 U.S. cities, said 3ality Chairman David Modell. Tickets are expected to cost $18 to $22, said Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp., which is working with 3ality to deliver the broadcasts to theaters.

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A startup named RealD is supplying the 3-D projector technology and polarized lenses for audience members.

‘‘We will take what we learned from the NFL shoot and apply it to this so this broadcast gets better,’’ said Modell, 47, former president of the Baltimore Ravens.

This month’s test 3-D broadcast of an NFL game between the Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers went black twice before the half as the satellite signal went down. And some camera moves had people in the audience crossing their eyes and removing their polarized lenses.

But audiences — test runs were done in Boston, New York and Los Angeles — generally approved of the technology, which adds depth to the field and gives a sense of being there in person. Shots of cheerleaders were a big hit.