Fancy watching Wayne Rooney scoring for England in the soccer World Cup without having to pay for overpriced hotel rooms and the air fare to South Africa? With 3D World Cup coverage possibly arriving in Hong Kong, this may no longer be merely fantasy. The UA Cinema Circuit has held talks with Fifa, the sports governing body, on showing World Cup matches in 3D for the first time. Fifa earlier announced that some of the matches would be broadcast in 3D, allowing viewers to watch games 'as if they were on the pitch themselves'. It said it had been working on whether live rights would be offered. The UA circuit's general manager, Chan Chi-leung, said the company had been negotiating the rights with Fifa, but he declined to disclose details. He said only that the rights would be offered at 'an exorbitant price', so there could be a chance that a 3D World Cup might not be coming to Hong Kong. In 2006, when UA Cityplaza and the then UA Telford Plaza, which is now run by another operator, were among the first cinemas in Hong Kong to go digital, Chan said that with a server receiving satellite feeds, it would be possible for cinemas to showcase other programmes such as important sports events and concerts. However, the opportunity has not arrived until this year, after Fifa signed an agreement with Sony to film and deliver up to 25 World Cup matches from South Africa. Hong Kong's two other major cinema operators, MCL and Broadway Circuit, said that showing alternative programmes would be the future for cinema. Grace Wong, the group manager of Kadokawa Intercontinental, which operates MCL, said the company was aware of the 3D World Cup and said it had been approached to show other alternative programmes - from live sports events to concerts, musicals and drama in digital or 3D format. She said MCL, which was the first operator to show the digital version of Finding Nemo at its JP cinema in Causeway Bay in 2003, would definitely realise these aims later this year. However, there are still technical issues to be resolved. 'Obtaining the rights will also involve a large investment, so we also have to think about how to get around the return. This is a business after all,' she said. Wong said MCL would not rule out the possibility of collaborating with television broadcasters on certain programmes. She also insisted that tickets to these alternative programmes would be affordable. '[The tickets] cannot be too expensive. [Showing alternative programmes] is also a good promotion of the cinema's image,' she said. Broadway did not reveal its plans for showing programmes other than movies but its spokeswoman said it would be the future direction of the cinema operator. I-Cable Communications, which owns the television rights to this year's World Cup tournaments, said its rights included all live matches for television. In December last year, Fifa said it had reached an agreement with Sony to deliver 3D images from up to 25 matches at the World Cup. Its secretary general Jerome Valcke said the 'revolution' would propel football fans into a new viewing dimension and mark the dawn of a new era in sports broadcasting. Sony Pictures Entertainment will produce and distribute the official 3D film of the World Cup after the event. More details on 3D World Cup coverage will be announced in London on Thursday.