First Ultra HD World Cup can help pubs enhance fans' experience

By Stuart Stone

- Last updated on GMT

Spectacular viewing: the football World Cup in Russia 2018 will be the first broadcast in Ultra HD
Spectacular viewing: the football World Cup in Russia 2018 will be the first broadcast in Ultra HD

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FIFA has announced that all 64 football games broadcast from the 2018 Russia World Cup will be produced in Ultra High Definition (UHD) with High Dynamic Range (HDR).

The technological improvements ahead of the 21st World Cup – taking place in Russia between 14 June and 15 July – are expected to improve the quality of broadcast and fans’ viewing experience in the process.

A statement from the governing body read: “The use of progressive scanning as a baseline production format and HDR will guarantee improved image quality for all media rights licensees, regardless of their delivery format.”

“Thirty-seven cameras, of which eight with UHD/HDR and 1080p/SDR dual output, and another eight with 1080p/HDR and 1080p/SDR dual output, will cover every match. A further eight super-slow-motion and two ultra-motion cameras, a cable-cam and a Cineflex heli-cam, will ensure high-class pictures will be available from every angle in each stadium.”

Co-founder of MatchPint Dominic Collingwood said: "The news is great for sports fans but we need to think carefully about how pubs can make the most of it. It's not simple.

“Traditionally, pubs have had the run on the living room experience due to bigger screens and the first look at new technology (such as 3D in 2010). These days, however, fans have bigger screens, better sound, and higher quality pictures at home. We should be looking to create an even better experience in venue than fans get at home, and Ultra HD could play a key part in this.

“Two words of warning before getting too excited. First, you'll need to have the right equipment: an Ultra HD box from Sky or BT Sport and a compatible TV.

“Second, think about how your Ultra HD is better than Ultra HD at home. In this instance, size is key: 93% of sports fans say a big screen is important when choosing a pub, while 40% say it's very important. If you get this all right then you're set up to be a stand-out venue. Let people know it."

  • The group stage draw for the 2018 World Cup takes place in the Kremlin, Moscow, on 1 December. BBC and ITV have retained the rights to broadcast all 64 matches next summer.

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