White Plains, N.Y. -
said Monday that it will again work with CBS Sports and the U.S. Tennis Association to broadcast the U.S. Open Tennis Championships in 3D for a second year.
This year's 3D broadcasts also extend coverage from Louis Armstrong Stadium.
As the host broadcaster, CBS Sports 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.
Panasonic said the 3D production of the 2010 U.S. Open Tennis Championships received an Emmy Award for technical achievement.
This year's expanded 3D broadcast coverage will include 3D-specific positions designed by the telecast partners to provide the best 3D perspectives, Panasonic said.
The action will be covered by 10 3D broadcast cameras and a high-speed 3D replay system. A preproduction model of Panasonic's new 3DP1 handheld FullHD 3D professional camcorder (available later this fall) will be used to provide match and grounds coverage for the telecast.
The overall court coverage will be based around 3D camera shadow rigs designed by the Cameron Pace Group.
Panasonic returns as the official 3D electronics sponsor and the official television of the U.S. Open Championships, as well as sponsor of CBS Sports' 2D and 3D US Open telecasts. Fans at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center will be able to attend public viewing galleries featuring the latest large-screen Viera FullHD 3DTVs. These on-site Panasonic "Experience Amazing" exhibits 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 and Twitter, among other things.
The Panasonic "Experience Amazing" 3D exhibits can be found on 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.
CBS Sports' 3D telecasts of event will be available on DirecTV's channel 103, "n/3D Powered by Panasonic."
This year, Comcast will also carry the 3D broadcast coverage to its subscribers on Xfinity 3D, making the CBS Sports coverage of the 2011 U.S. Open available via the two largest multichannel video providers. Distribution discussions with additional providers are ongoing. Additionally, the men's and women's finals will be streamed live in 3D on USOpen.org, the official website of the tournament.
"Panasonic is delighted to again be sponsoring the U.S. Open Championships and bringing the passion and power of this premier tennis event in stunning 3D to TV screens across the country," stated Joseph Taylor, Panasonic North America chairman and CEO. "The tennis pros on the courts will be broadcast in 3D by sports production pros at our partner CBS, and with the USTA itself, we are thrilled to be back at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center for this top event."
The 3D broadcasts will use a separate production team and equipment from the traditional HD broadcasts of the tournament.
Plans call two special 3D production trucks and a unique 3D-dedicated CBS Sports broadcast team. CBS has designed and upgraded 3D broadcast camera placements lower to the court than traditional TV locations in order to capture the close-up and personal, athletic dimension of tennis that make 3D such a powerful experience.
Other on-site promotions will include a FourSquare program where fans can check into the Panasonic exhibits to receive special offers as well as the "Experience Amazing" Scavenger Hunt in which QR codes will be located in select locations throughout the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Fans who scan all of the codes receive a special premium and will be eligible to win prizes, such as a Panasonic FullHD 3D Home Entertainment system. Details on these promotions will be announced at a later date.
Panasonic and DirecTV will also provide the live CBS Sports 3D broadcasts of the U.S. Open semi-final and final matches to hundreds of TV retail outlets nationwide, including scores of Best Buy stores.