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FIFA, Sony Reveal New Details About 4K World Cup Plans

An official 4K World Cup film will be made available on 4K-supported online distribution services.

Sony 4K Camera - H 2014
Courtesy of Sony

Sony and FIFA have revealed new details about their plans to use 4K (Ultra HD) — which is four times the resolution of HD — as part of the coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which begins in Brazil on June 12.

Three matches will be shot in 4K. That will include one match from the round of 16, to be held on June 28; one match from the quarterfinals, on July 4; and the final, on July 13 at the Estadio do Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro. Additionally, Sony and FIFA will jointly produce the Official 2014 FIFA World Cup Film in 4K.

The 4K feed from the three matches will be made available to select FIFA rights-holder broadcasters for a 4K transmission trial to homes (viewers can see this feed in 4K on an Ultra HD TV.) While broadcasters have not yet been announced, one could assume Brazil’s TV Globo, which has already been testing 4K, is among them. The live 4K coverage will also be made available in select cinemas around the world.

FIFA intends to release the official film online via 4K content distribution services after the World Cup. Again, distribution services were not named, but those already promoting 4K plans include Netflix.

Sony and FIFA tested 4K live production last summer during the FIFA Confederations Cup, also held in Brazil. As previously announced, the production team will again use Sony’s CineAlta 4K F55 camera, which has been used on TV series such as The Blacklist and Trophy Wife, as well as some live sports production. They also plan to use Sony 4K technologies such as monitors and a multiformat switcher.

To promote the format, a trailer for the official 4K film will be screened at Sony’s commercial display booths located within some of the FIFA World Cup stadia and at FIFA-hosted HD public viewing "FIFA Fan Fest" events in Brazil. Outside of Brazil, these trailers will be shown on Sony’s 4K Bravia TVs at select Sony Stores.

FIFA has a track record for highlighting new production technology at its World Cup. The 2010 World Cup included 25 matches that were produced in 3D, though FIFA and Sony have no plans to use 3D at this year’s event.

Email: Carolyn.Giardina@THR.com
Twitter: @CGinLA