2011 Sony Open to be Aired in Live 3D

Sony Corporation (Sony) and the PGA Tour have announced that the 2011 Sony Open will be broadcast in live 3D from Waialae Country Club in Oahu, Hawaii.

Having conducted successful 3D testing at multiple events this year, both parties recently concluded an agreement to present the tournament in live 3D. The test locations included the 2010 Sony Open in Hawaii. Sony, the PGA Tour and Friends of Hawaii Charities, the host organization of Sony Open in Hawaii, also announced that Sony has extended its title sponsorship by three years through 2014.

Sony and the PGA Tour will present highlights of the final tournament stages in 3D. The vivid 3D images will be delivered to viewers worldwide, using six pairs of Sony's 3D compatible professional camera systems placed at four holes, including Nos. 17 and 18 on Saturday, January 15th and Sunday, January 16th.

The 3D coverage will be produced and distributed to American households by Golf Channel and Comcast. Of the 83 million households across the U.S., viewers with 3D-compatible TV sets will be able to enjoy the closing stages of the tournament in immersive live 3D. 3D coverage will also be made available to PGA Tour broadcast partners around the world with that capability.

The 2010 Sony Open in Hawaii was broadcast to approximately 560 million households in more than 220 countries and territories worldwide, and its viewership is expected to continue to grow. With the introduction of 3D live broadcasts and other new initiatives, both parties will continue to utilize the latest technologies to present golf in attractive ways.

"We are very excited to be able to capture the 2011 Sony Open in Hawaii using Sony's state-of-the-art 3D professional cameras, and to deliver these images into viewers' living rooms in live 3D," said Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman, CEO and President, Sony Corporation. "By offering the unprecedented experience of immersive, live 3D images conveying the excitement and beauty of the Sony Open in Hawaii, we aim to further enhance the enjoyment of 3D entertainment in the home."

"We are delighted that Sony has agreed to extend its sponsorship by three years with the PGA Tour and Friends of Hawaii Charities and look forward to continuing our collaboration with Sony on the development and expansion of 3D broadcasting. The 2011 Sony Open in Hawaii will become the first PGA Tour cosponsored event to feature live weekend coverage in 3D," said PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem.

"We have seen what high-definition does for golf telecasts, and 3D is the logical next step to enhancing our broadcasts and providing fans with the ultimate viewing experience, particularly in such a beautiful setting as Hawaii."

"The extension of Sony's sponsorship is met enthusiastically in the not-for-profit and tourism sectors of Hawaii," said Corbett Kalama, President, Friends of Hawaii Charities. "With the charity partnership of The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, it generates a $1 million windfall to Hawaii's not-for-profit grant recipients at a time when expenses are accelerating and charity funding is decelerating. The television coverage from beautiful, warm Hawaii to a global audience in January especially in 3D, next year, provides considerable promotional value to Hawaii's tourism industry."

The Sony Open in Hawaii, entering its 13th year with Sony as title sponsor, is one of the leading fundraising sporting events in Hawaii, having raised $10 million since 1999. All net proceeds from the event benefit Friends of Hawaii Charities, an organization dedicated to providing funds to qualifying not-for-profit endeavors in support of women, children and elderly in need.