Orange gives French Open 3D treatment (and more)

By Kevin Hilton

SVG Europe editor

Sport is finding more outlets on new media platforms and telecom
operator Orange is among the leaders in the field, this week providing
3D footage of the French Open tennis for its video on demand (VOD)
service, announcing details of coverage for France’s Ligue 1 football
competition and being awarded a DVB-H frequency to broadcasts its
sports channel to mobile devices.

Following the lead of the BBC with its 6 Nations rugby test earlier in
the year Orange, the French Tennis Federation and France T l visions
transmitted the matches played on the Suzanne Lenglen court on May 26
and 27 live in 3D to guests at Roland Garros and to screens in two of
the telecom company’s shops in Paris. This footage will be available on
demand from the Orange website until the end of the French Open. Those
involved see this as preparation for the start of 3D services to the

This is the fourth year Orange has run its Tennis Everywhere service
during the French Open, with coverage on interactive television, the
internet and mobile phones. Orange TV is carrying nine channels of
action from Roland Garros, comprising a multi-screen channel covering
all seven courts simultaneously, seven live streams with feeds from
host broadcaster France T l visions and an interactive new service
giving information on players, scores as they happen and all the

Mobile customers can receive five live streams, video on demand and
every score and stat through the Orange Word portal. A world first is
an Orange Web application especially for the French Open that allows
iPhone users to receive VOD and real-time results. The Orange website
has streamed HD footage of live matches and highlights packages on

Football is the big draw for any European broadcast service and Orange
will have coverage of French Ligue 1 football for TV, mobiles and PCs
from the start of the 2008/09 season on August 9.

Matches will be available in HD on Orange TV, with a Saturday night
highlights programme, and live streaming of eight games every weekend
to mobiles. Video on demand services are also available and a new
travelling TV studio will visit major stadiums to provide on-the-spot
presentation of important fixtures.

To round off a good week for the mobile phone operator yesterday the
French media regulator confirmed a DVB-H mode frequency for the Orange
Sports TV service. This makes the channel, launched in September 2007,
among the first to be available to mobile customers in France. It is
already broadcast on the web and Orange TV.

Orange Sports TV is claimed to be the first French channel launched
specifically for multi-media broadcasting and can be seen on
conventional television, the internet and mobile devices. It is a
sports information service, with in-house writers and production staff
packaging material provided by rights holders such as the French Sports
and National Olympic Committee and the Sporever Group.

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