The United States Tennis Association (USTA) just announced that Panasonic has become an official sponsor of the US Open in a new three-year agreement. Working with CBS Sports, the USTA and Panasonic will spearhead the first-ever 3D broadcasts of the tournament. CBS Sports will produce 3D versions of all the Arthur Ashe Stadium matches that it broadcasts in high definition on Labor Day weekend and on finals weekend, September 10-12. These matches will be made available nationwide via DirecTV's exclusive dedicated 3D channel, n|3D Powered by Panasonic.
On-site at the 2010 US Open, Panasonic will have three 3D viewing galleries: a 3D showcase located in the former International Tennis Hall of Fame Gallery on the floor level of Louis Armstrong Stadium, another in SmashZone, the US Open's interactive tennis experience located in indoor facility, and one more in the South Plaza area. Panasonic and DirecTV will also present the US Open semifinal and final matches live in 3D to hundreds of TV retail outlets nationwide as part of the September 10-12 National 3D Demo Days organized by the Consumer Electronics Association.
The 3D broadcasts will use a separate production team and equipment from the traditional HD broadcasts of the tournament. Plans call for six camera rigs (each holding two high definition cameras), two special 3D production trucks, and a unique 3D-dedicated CBS Sports broadcast team. CBS has designed the 3D camera placements lower to the court than traditional TV locations, in order to capture the close-up and personal dimension of tennis.
In order to view the US Open in 3D, fans must have 3D televisions and 3D eyewear and be subscribers to DirecTV.