FIFA is making plans alongside Japan's NHK to capture some of the games from this summer's World Cup in Brazil in 8K. And the footage will be down converted to 4K to help 4K producers. Down converting to 4K! You read it here first!
This follows Sony's announcement last week that it was expanding the number of 4K games to be captured from just the final to one semi final and another match from the last 16 group, making three in all. A distribution channel is also being set up for the 4K coverage, though according to what Niclas Ericson, head of FIFA's TV Division was saying in Cannes, this is very much a work in progress.
Still, reports are that behind the scenes FIFA has made it as easy as possible for rights holders to also partake of the 4K feed — offering it as a free add-on is one possibility — and the organisation hopes for at least some interest from broadcasters in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, with cinema distribution also very much on the cards.
All of the 4K matches will be ones held at Rio's Maracana Stadium, meaning that the production team doesn't have to move a limited amount of gear round a country with well-publicised transport and infrastructure problems. It's also a stadium large enough to hold the various simultaneous productions, with Ericson estimating that over 60 cameras and multiple production units could be involved at the one venue.
As to the 8K production “This will include a few matches but is a very different arrangement, with a handful of cameras – only a few exist," he said. "But it does mean that we can down-convert the 8K camera work to 4K, and make those images available for the 4K productions."
An official 4K film of the tournament will be made available after the tournament all wraps up, with current plans seeing it being made available to Sony dealerships round the world as well as online via the growing band of 4K-capable IP channels.