3-D cinema World Cup plan in China might be relegated

12:59, June 03, 2010      

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A plan to let football fans watch the World Cup in 3-D, at cinemas from June 11, may be given the red card because of possible technical problems, high costs and a lack of security.

"I am 80 to 90 percent sure this project will not happen," Liu Hui, chief business inspector from UME Anzhen International Cinema, told METRO on Wednesday.

She said CCTV had promised to allow them to broadcast 25 games on a live link, but that figure was quickly reduced to "at least eight", due to copyright issues.

"It will cost our UME cinema between 140,000 to 190,000 yuan to set up the required technology," Liu said.

"We could barely cut a profit when the number of matches was set at 25, but we have no chance now."

Fans were upset about the change in game plan.

"I worry if it will definitely happen," said Fan Fuhan, an assistant engineer in his 20s with Air China.

"I don't understand why we always have to wait so long for high technology," he said. "They already have 3-D TVs in Britain, so why is China so far behind?"

Others, however, were not so interested in the technological feat.

"I never paid much attention to the issue," said Liu Zekai, a project manager at a State-owned aeronautical company.

"The term '3-D' just sounds sensational to me," he said.

In addition to a bad memory of wearing special glasses when watching Avatar, Liu is also concerned about the atmosphere of watching football inside a cinema.

"I remember watching the final of the last World Cup with 10,000 fans on a square in Chengdu. People were drinking, shouting and laughing loudly. Atmosphere is much more important to fans than technology," he said.

Cao Shuo, an official with China Film Group Digital Cinema Line Co, said the 3-D World Cup project has not been axed yet.

"We are trying to solve technical problems with the satellite signal," he said. "It is possible the project may be stopped but we won't know for sure until Friday," he said.

Cao said the group would continue to focus on broadcasting 3-D sports in the future, such as the NBA Finals, despite the result of this event.

"We want to promote 3-D technological evolution in China, in the same way that analog movies were replaced by a digital form," said Cao.

UME's Liu said she is also worried about security issues.

"We planned to contact police stations and hire more security guards," she said.

"Fans will have to stay sitting, as if they were watching a movie and there will definitely be no beer," she said.

As for the ticket price, Liu said 100 yuan would be the absolute lowest.

"If we cut it any more, we will take a heavy loss. We also don't want to raise it since we are uncertain of whether fans will want to watch 3-D World Cup games," she said.

Source:China Daily


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