Foxtel will become the first Australian television operator to transmit in 3D when it broadcasts the pre-World Cup friendly match between the Socceroos and New Zealand next Monday night, 24 May. This gazumps Nine’s planned broadcast of the State of Origin match in 3D on 26 May by two days, giving the pay TV company high-tech bragging rights.

The game will show on a dedicated Fox Sports 3D channel (Channel 200), and be available to Foxtel IQ2 and Austar MyStarHD subscribers who have access to a 3D television and glasses.

Samsung currently offers six 3D television models priced from $2500, with LG due to bring its range to market this week. Pricing for these will start at $4000.

With 3D televisions from Sony and Panasonic not due in stores till June, the big Japanese marques will miss out any sales opportunities presented by the May broadcasts. Their time to cash in will come, however, with the much bigger occasion of the FIFA World Cup.

The month-long competition kicks off on June 11, with Sony, a sponsor of the 2010 series, to provide up to 25 games in 3D, including the 13 June match between Australia and Germany.

The games will air on a trial 3D channel from SBS (channel 40), with all games in 2D to be transmitted on SBS1 and SBS2. The SBS website announces that all games will be broadcast live.

The publicly funded TV operator was given permission by ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) to transmit in 3D just days ago, and joins Nine as a free-to-air 3D broadcaster.