Premier League Contemplates Using 3D Technology To Replace 39th Game Concept

The Premier League has announced that it’s in discussions with Sony to develop a unique immersion technology. The end result will be to allow soccer fans from around the world to put on headphones while watching a match and feel as if they’re sitting in the ground watching the game in person, when they’re actually at home in front of a 3D TV set.

The technology is still a few years away, but Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore is excited about the prospect and sees it as a more realistic alternative to the 39th Game, which was vehemently dismissed by many in the British media.

To read a more descriptive explanation of Scudamore’s thoughts as well as more details about the technology envisioned, read the article over at The Guardian and then come back here and share your opinion about whether you think it’s a wise idea or not.

Here’s my opinion:

Using American vernacular, Scudamore needs to get off the crack pipe. This is a horrible idea for many reasons.

First, 3D television sets have been a dismal failure. ESPN made a big deal about the 2010 World Cup being shown in 3D, but do you know anyone who watched it in 3D, or were you able to see it demoed?

Second, the only reason why Sony is interested in working with the Premier League regarding this technology is to sell 3D TV sets, which are expensive. Sure, prices will come down as technology improves, but why is the Premier League spending so much time regarding this technology (based on the level of interest and obvious meetings that must have happened between Sony and the Premier League, as can be surmised from the article in The Guardian)? Can’t the Premier League see through Sony and realize that they’re just trying to find ways to flog their expensive TV sets, which are a failing product right now?

Third, and most importantly, no one is asking for or wants this technology. Sure, it’d be a novel idea to try the technology once so we can be transported to our favorite Premier League ground to watch a match, as if we were really there. But, this is not something we want on a week-in week-out basis. Who wants to be tied down to wearing headphones (and presumably 3D glasses)? I want to have the ability to do whatever I want during a game on TV. Sitting for 90 minutes motionless isn’t how I experience a Premier League match. If you’re like me, I often watch two games at once (either split-screen, or one of our TV set and one on our laptop, iPad or phone). Or I’ll have Twitter or a chat open during a game, to read what other people are thinking about the match. And if it’s my team who are playing and they just scored a goal, I may find myself running around my room in hysterics after seeing a beautiful goal hit the back of the net. I do not want to be tied down by wearing headphones and/or glasses that inhibit the way I enjoy matches.

3D technology sounds wonderful, but no one is asking for it. Watching Premier League matches on a flat-screen television in HD is simply perfect for me. Nothing more is needed, thank you very much.

And if we want to see Premier League games in person, I would much prefer to either (a) save up and go to England to see the real thing, (b) wait for the clubs to come over on their preseason friendlies and then see them in person, or (c) keep on hoping that the 39th game will eventually happen. I don’t want to be sold an expensive technology that makes me feel that I’m at the ground. I’m not willing to suspend my disbelief to suck me in to a 3D avatar world that I know simply doesn’t exist in reality.

What do you think? Share your opinion in the comments section below.

9 thoughts on “Premier League Contemplates Using 3D Technology To Replace 39th Game Concept”

  1. i live in the states…so hell yeah i want a 39th game here. we have had several of our professional teams from different sports play regular season games abroad and we survived. i remember the NFL playing a game in london and it was a regular season game, the 3d idea sucks because it still can’t compare. what’s next…virtual women in 3d instead of the real thing, lol.

  2. 3d tech will only get better while the negative nancies will refuse to try it, only to weep later realizing how awesome it is and why their lives passed so quickly…

    1. Except that all evidence is that we’re past the peak of the fad – ticket receipts for 3D movies are dropping, audiences are preferring to see many of them in 2D, and there’s reason to think some films have lost money via 3D release (basically by reducing the number of 2D showtimes when 2D showtimes are more popular).

      3D, just as it did in the 50s and the 80s, is failing. And no doubt it will do so again in another thirty years when they wheel the turkey of stereoscopic media out for another round. The technology is fundamentally flawed in a way that minor technological advancements cannot fix.

  3. How about they focus on goal-line technology first. After that we can talk about 3D.

    Honestly, after about the first 10 minutes, you are immersed in the game one way or another. The same can be said about 3d movies. For the first few minutes it is noticable, but only until you really focus on what’s going on. Once you do, it doesn’t really matter.

  4. Ugh, that’s foolish. 3D televisions are proving wholly unpopular with consumers, and 3D film is proving as big a bust in this decade as it was in the 50s and 80s. On top of that, making 3D work well requires meticulous control of camera angles and careful plotting of how objects are going to move within a shot. Which is to say that the unpredictable chaos of a sports match is exactly the wrong thing to try to film in 3D.

  5. On first reading the headline, I assumed this story would be about the hologram technology that Japan suggested as part of their latest World Cup bid. I love the idea of sitting in the stands of a local stadium and watching a match unfold on a different pitch on the other side of the world as if it were happening right in front of you. That would actually make for a “unique immersion technology”. They said they had the ability to do that, or at least, they would by 2018 or 2022. Let’s make that happen rather than encouraging increasingly more people to watch matches at home, by themselves.

  6. Great, I know exactly what would make football more enjoyable: wearing stupid cheap plastic glasses that never fit properly, give you a headache and make you slightly nauseous. Where do I sign up?

    p.s. In case you didn’t realize I was being sarcastic, as Homer Simpson once said.

  7. If you wanna get the feeling of being in a live match, why don’t you actually go there?? Seriously, this 3D thing is such a gimmick. I’m happy with the way matches are shown on TV and will continue to be. I’ve been watching football and cricket matches all my life and it’s fine the way it is. Why put on headphones to get the sound of being in the stadium? This whole 3D crap is so fake and I hope it’s just a fad. People nowadays are already narcissistic enough, why pamper them by 3D movies, matches, shows?? Just a way to squeeze more cash out of ordinary folks. Speaking of cash, the Premier League should be focusing on their ridiculous ticket prices and lowering them. The number one priority are the ENGLISH fans who watch their ENGLISH teams at the ENGLISH stadiums, not those who spend their time infront of the TV. The real fans are being priced out, the ones who did make noise. Now, the grounds are turning into modern-looking stadiums filled by corporate-types with their families. The average age of the Premier League is in the 40s now. Boring quiet people. The authorities already have enough money. They should let the $$$ they don’t need trickle down to the lower leagues. But being selfish greedy corporate men, they won’t. 3D viewing, my foot.

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