China’s 3D World Cup dreams put on hold

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Promises, promises. Football fans throughout China were told well before the World Cup that they would have the option of being able to watch their footballing heroes live in 3D in local cinemas during the one-month long event. But those 3D dreams have now been dashed.

In Hong Kong, technical difficulties have been blamed for a delay in any 3D broadcasts in local cinemas, with the local press pinning the decision on ongoing problems with the quality of the images projected and problems matching those images with Cantonese commentary. These difficulties are not expected to be resolved until the World Cup final - scheduled for July 11 - if indeed they are fixed at all.

In mainland China, meanwhile, it has been reported that cinemas received a note from the Government urging them not to broadcast the games in 3D.

The film industry website Film Business Asia ( http://www.filmbiz.asia) reported a "not-for publication memorandum'' was passed from the State Administration for Radio Film and Television "discouraging theatres from live 3-D sportscasts from South Africa'' - thus allowing all broadcasts to be controlled by the state-run CCTV.

Around 40 cinemas in China had before the event announced plans to screen games in 3D but there have been no updates on whether any now actually will.

In Hong Kong at least, fans flocked to bars and clubs to watch the weekend's opening World Cup salvos despite a pre-Cup survey which suggested local interest levels in the event were lower than during the past edition, in 2006.

Research company TNS ( http://www.tns-global.com.hk) claims that of 1,000 Hongkongers polled, 73 percent were "interested'' in what is going on in South Africa, compared to the 83 percent they found were interested in Germany 06, while around half were planning to watch the final live, compared to 64 percent four years ago.

MS

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