FIFA confirms entire 2018 World Cup will be available in 4K UHD

FIFA has announced plans to supply its Media Rights Licensees for next year's World Cup in Russia (which is BBC and ITV in the UK) with 4K UHD productions of each of the tournament's 64 games.

37 cameras (plus an additional eight super slow-mo cameras, a cable-cam and cineflex heli-cam) will offer broadcasters a choice of multiple broadcast formats from a single production chain. FIFA claims the improved baseline production format, plus HDR, will guarantee improved image quality regardless of the format individual Licensees ultimately choose to broadcast in.

FIFA has also stated its 4K UHD productions will also benefit from 'immersive audio', although details of specific audio broadcast formats are not, as yet, forthcoming.

Naturally, if we want to watch the World Cup in 4K in the UK, we'll need either the BBC or ITV to launch a 4K channel. The 2014 World Cup saw the BBC trial 4K but despite subsequent promises to be broadcasting 4K as standard by 2016, there is as yet no 4K BBC channel.

The BBC did stream a four-minute 4K Ultra HD clip of Planet Earth II on iPlayer, and it increasingly looks like iPlayer will be where the BBC launches 4K content.

But will that include the World Cup? We certainly hope so. The FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia starts on 14th June 2018.


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Simon Lucas is a freelance technology journalist and consultant, with particular emphasis on the audio/video aspects of home entertainment. Before embracing the carefree life of the freelancer, he was editor of What Hi-Fi? – since then, he's written for titles such as GQ, Metro, The Guardian and Stuff, among many others.