The BBC's decision to broadcast the Wimbledon tennis Championships in 3D later this month has been welcomed by industry bigwigs - most notably Sky's 3D channel director John Cassy.

Cassy said that the BBC's arrival to the 3D arena could open up big opportunities for the third dimension market and the Beeb's reputation would help to make the format more widely acceptable.

"For everyone with an interest in the development of 3D in this country, this is encouraging news, with the promotional might of the BBC helping to create further interest in, and awareness of, 3D TV," he said. 

"I’ve said for a long time that for 3D TV to feature in living rooms up and down the country, the whole of the UK TV industry needs to work together to explore the new possibilities offered in three dimensions. 

"I very much hope that during the experience of putting out this broadcast, the BBC sees the creative value in offering licence fee payers 3D coverage. 

"Based on our own experience of showcasing the ATP World tennis finals in 3D, I’m sure it will prove a great success, helping encourage them to think about the other parts of their schedule that may benefit from 3D."

Freeview boss Ilse Howling also praised the move, and stated how important it is the 3D reaches a wider audience.

"Through exciting technical innovation, 3D on Freeview is no longer a twinkle in the eye of the broadcast industry but is now becoming a reality," he said. 

"We’re delighted that anyone that has access to a 3D TV set and to Freeview HD can get closer to the action on Centre Court as they experience the Men’s and Ladies’ finals of the 2011 Wimbledon Championships in 3D for the first time. 

"Since Freeview HD launched, 225,000 (10%) of Freeview HD televisions sold have the capability to display 3D pictures and Freeview HD coverage continues to increase across the UK. We hope this 3DTV editorial experiment by the BBC is a sign of new things to come for Freeview viewers."

The BBC's 3D coverage from Wimbledon will be broadcast on its HD channel so that means Freeview, Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media customers can all get involved.

See our feature: Wimbledon 2011 - why tennis is going 3D