By Keri Algar

SYDNEY, NSW: AFL and NRL grand final matches will be broadcast in HD 3D in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Newcastle, Adelaide and Perth.

The announcement was made today by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) who issued the Nine Network and the Seven Networks licences to conduct trial broadcasts.

ACMA chairman Chris Chapman said the world-first free-to-air trials demonstrated some of the challenges of 3D TV technology.

“There is still much for the industry in Australia and internationally to learn about 3D TV production, transmission and reception. Accordingly, the ACMA is pleased to facilitate these additional trials by the Seven Network and the Nine Network,” said Chapman.

Steve Rust, managing director of Panasonic Australia said the broadcast will immerse audiences in the colour and excitement of the AFL Grand Final.

“This is an opportunity for Panasonic to help showcase one of the biggest and best sporting events in the world in high definition 3D,” said Rust.

“Panasonic wants as many Australians as possible to experience 3D in their homes and we are delighted to join with Seven and the AFL to deliver the first 3D AFL Grand Final to thousands of people around the country.”

Meanwhile, Samsung yesterday announced a Grand Final Season promotion by offering a bonus 3D Blu-ray player with the purchase of selected Samsung TVs during September. The offer runs in September only with 15,000 Blu-ray players available for redemption.

Sony is also enthusiastic about the 3D broadcast of the grand final matches.

“We are launching new 3D TVs in the coming weeks, which will help satisfy this demand – just in time for footy finals season and the release of more 3D gaming and movie content in the lead up to Christmas. We will introduce a new 3D marketing campaign just prior to the AFL and NRL finals, which will also boost interest in 3D in Australia,” said Toby Barbour, general manager, consumer marketing, Sony Australia.