By Patrick Avenell
SYDNEY, NSW: The NRL football finals are back on TV this weekend, with Canberra hosting the Wests Tigers tonight and then the Sydney Roosters grappling with the Penrith Panthers tomorrow. In the AFL, Collingwood and Geelong are playing for a spot in the Grand Final tonight, where they’ll play either St Kilda or the Western Bulldogs, depending on the outcome of that game tomorrow.
Why is this important? Because the two Grand Finals in these codes are set to be the next big drivers of 3D TV uptake in Australia, with both set to be broadcast in the new technology. Panasonic has a vested interest in the AFL, as both a sponsor of the competition and an advertiser during the coverage on television. Sony Australia has invested in the NRL, with the Video Referee screen displaying its logo, both at the ground and on TV, whilst decisions on tries are made.
These marketing initiatives are designed to raise the awareness of 3D TV in Australia and encourage viewers to go into retail stores to ask questions, experience and, ultimately, buy 3D TVs. Sony Australia strategist Toby Barbour has been quizzing Australian consumers about 3D over the last few weeks — one of his major findings was that half of those consumers who had received a demonstration intended to go ahead with a purchase in the near future.
“Half of the shoppers surveyed intend to buy a 3D TV, showing that interest is high,” said Barbour. “As more content becomes available, especially in movies and gaming, we expect this interest to continue and convert to sales beyond the football finals and into Christmas.
“Even with multiple brands now marketing the 3D message in a very competitive landscape, brand and quality remain strong considerations for purchase.”
On that last point, Barbour was quick to mention another stat he had up his sleeve: “58 per cent of those who had seen a competitor demonstration rated the Sony 3D experience as ‘better or significantly better’ than [Sony’s] competitors”.