CBC set to score in 3D

HNIC

Hockey fans in Canada will be getting an eyeful – literally – of the game this December when the CBC broadcasts its most popular show in full 3D.

In partnership with Panasonic, the 3D edition of HNIC will first go to air Saturday, Dec. 11 for Toronto vs. Montreal and then again on Feb. 20, 2011, for the Heritage Classic from McMahon Stadium in Calgary.

The dates were strategically chosen by the CBC and Panasonic in order to hit the key pre- and post-Christmas gifting season, Scott Moore, executive director, CBC Sports and GM, CBC media sales and marketing, notes. The network does not have exact stats on the number of 3D TVs in Canadian homes as yet – the sets just debuted this year – but global research firm IMS estimated in August that by 2014, 9% of TV-owning households will have a 3D set, and in the US, up to 40%.

This isn’t the CBC’s first foray into 3D; the net executed a special broadcast of a Doc Zone program on Queen Elizabeth on Sept. 20, a broadcast it promoted in partnership with Canada Post. The technology used to broadcast HNIC will be different, Moore says, and the execution has been developed from the ground up with Panasonic.

“Ian Kilvert, the GM of Panasonic Canada, and I spoke about this as far back as the Winter Olympics in February, where they were displaying a lot of their new monitors,” Moore explains. “Obviously 3D is both difficult and expensive and we needed to find a way to make it work for everyone, and I think we’ve found the right combination.”

Panasonic’s sponsorship includes naming rights as the official 3D and HD sponsor of Hockey Night in Canada all season long. Panasonic production equipment is a cornerstone of the sponsorship, but branding will be promoted to consumers via on-air billboards, TV spots and equipment branding that can be seen on camera.

From Media in Canada.