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Scudamore to seek 'richer experience of watching football'

New plans for seeing games have been likened to the experience of viewing James Cameron’s Avatar.

The experience of viewing football games is becoming increasingly cinematic, with the option to watch matches in 3D being established recently.
The experience of viewing football games is becoming increasingly cinematic, with the option to watch matches in 3D being established recently.

“IF YOU WANT entertainment, go to the pictures,” Eamon Dunphy once said in response to claims that a certain football match was boring to watch.

However, it now appears that the lines between the two industries are set to become even more blurred, following the recent introduction of 3D football matches.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the chief executive of the Premier League, Richard Scudamore, is intent on introducing a virtual reality-style concept to the experience of viewing football matches, which he has likened to watching James Cameron’s film Avatar in 3D.

Talks are underway with both Sony and EA to develop this initiative, and Scudamore anticipates that it will be available within five years, adding: “3D is coming along and there’ll soon be a technological development that will allow people across the world to have a much richer experience of watching football.”

Scudamore, who previously unsuccessfully attempted to implement plans for a 39th Premier League game to take place abroad during the season, believes the initiative will be commonly used to enhance viewers’ enjoyment of games in the future.

He said:

“There’s ‘immersion technology’ being developed right now where you can sit down with headphones and a screen, and reproduce the feel of being in a stadium. You can call in your mates to sit next to you and chat to them. If you turn your head one way you’re looking at the left-hand goal and the other way you’re looking at the right-hand goal. That’s in testing now.”

Scudamore added that one of the primary aims of the device was to cater for the Premier League’s growing international audience, as well as accommodating British expatriates, who would be provided with a sense of watching the match in their favourite club’s stadium despite being thousands of miles away from the action.

Meanwhile, it has also been confirmed that the Premier League will continue to hold two competitions, similar to the Asia Trophy, every two years, in Asia, Africa or North America.

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Paul Fennessy

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