Etisalat will this week announce a 3D-TV feature for customers of its E-Vision internet television service. A source close to the UAE telecommunications company said the new 3D service would require a special television set. He hinted, but would not confirm, that the 3D services would include coverage of the FIFA World Cup. The source did not say when the new service would launch.
Etisalat's E-Vision customers have access to Al Jazeera Sport channels, which will broadcast the World Cup from June 11 to July 11 in conjunction with FIFA. Al Jazeera, which has the exclusive rights to broadcast the games in the region, is showing some of the games in 3D, according to press reports. Despite the FIFA World Cup starting in just 11 days, it is only just becoming clear how many UAE residents will be able to watch the games.
Subscribers to TV services run by du, Etisalat's rival, have only just been told they will have access to the Al Jazeera Sport channel, but they still do not know how much it will cost to watch. "We are committed to [showing the World Cup], but we haven't announced the plans yet," a du spokesman said. The spokesman said he could not confirm whether du customers would also be given access to the 3D channels.
Nick Grande, the managing director of ChannelSculptor, a Dubai-based television consultancy, said that 3D broadcasts were slowly emerging in other markets, but doubted its long-term appeal. "It is really, really early days. I think Sky [in the UK] has approached it more from a marketing point of view. I see [the appeal of 3D TV] for shorter bursts of viewing, which naturally works better in public venues," he said.
Mr Grande added that health fears over the 3D technology could put some consumers off. email@example.com