The BBC is to broadcast the UK’s first free 3D footage this summer, of the finals at this year’s Wimbledon Championships.

Both the men’s and ladies’ finals – held 2 and 3 July - will be broadcast on BBC HD, marking the 125th anniversary of the tennis tournament. It will be available free-to-air across all digital providers to anyone with access to a 3D TV set.

The BBC is also making coverage available to a limited number of cinemas and a small number of screenings, which will be free to members of the public.

Although the corporation had previously unveiled plans to shoot the tennis tournament in 3D, it had not until now confirmed that the coverage would be made public.

Newly appointed director of BBC Vision George Entwistle said: “This is a hugely important experiment for us and I’m pleased that we have the opportunity to show some of our stunning sports coverage to our audiences, in 3D, for free.”  

BBC’s head of HD and 3D Danielle Nagler said the move would bring “UK audiences a new way of getting close to the action on Centre Court”.

She added: “I’m sure that 3D will only add to the drama as the world’s greatest players compete for the championship.” 

Coverage of the tournament will also be available in standard definition on BBC1 and BBC2, and in high definition on BBC1 HD, as well as live streaming through BBC Online with interviews, commentary and coverage on Radio 5 Live and additional options on Red Button. BBC iPlayer will store up to two full matches every day of the tournament.

The BBC has partnered with the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) and Sony Professional for coverage of the championship.