BBC confirms World Cup coverage - and there's no 4K

The BBC is promising to be the "only destination for 24/7 World Cup action across TV, radio and digital" this summer, but it seems there won't be room for any 4K broadcasts.

Having recently run 4K tests on iPlayer, it looked increasingly likely the Beeb would show some World Cup games in 4K Ultra HD. But today the BBC has announced its World Cup coverage plans, and there was sadly no mention of 4K.

There could yet be a further announcement, and we've asked the BBC for confirmation, but for now it looks ominous for what would have been a great showcase for 4K and HDR broadcasts.

The blow seems all the bigger in light of other countries confirming 4K coverage for this summer’s biggest sport event.

Israel, Switzerland and Germany are just a few of several countries in the world that have announced 4K World Cup coverage, and Dutch broadcaster NPO recently announced an Ultra HD broadcast would be available in The Netherlands.

Last October, FIFA confirmed all 64 World Cup matches would be available in 4K and HDR thanks to 37 cameras (plus an additional eight super slow-mo cameras, a cable-cam and cineflex heli-cam) and an improved baseline production format.

What us Brits will get is 33 live games in HD across BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Four (the rest will be on ITV), as well as streamed on BBC Sport online and BBC iPlayer. This includes England's opening two games and a possible quarter-final tie.

Radio 5 Live will come live from every game, while BBC Sport's digital service delivers HD video coverage of all the corporation's matches. You'll find highlights on BBC Sport and the BBC's YouTube channel.

The BBC's presenters and pundits include Alan Shearer, Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand, Phil Neville, Jermaine Jenas, Alex Scott, Jurgen Klinsmann, Didier Drogba and Pablo Zabaleta.

FIFA World Cup 2018 is live on the BBC across TV, Radio and Online starting 14th June.


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Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is Content Director for T3 and What Hi-Fi?, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for more than 15 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).