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BT keeps delivery of 4K Champions League coverage in-house

Tuesday, August 4th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

BT Group’s international media services company has announced it is to deliver BT Sport’s new 4K Champions League football coverage.

The company, called BT Media & Broadcast, has been working on the delivery of live 4K content for a number of years.

In 2013, in partnership with BT Sport, it filmed Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial match at Old Trafford in 4K and followed it up with the first live 4K international rugby transmission of Gloucester versus Saracens.

It also achieved a world first earlier this year after being chosen by Star India to deliver 4K coverage of the ICC Cricket World Cup in Australia directly to subscribers’ homes.

The tournament was shown as a “STAR SPORTS 4K” feed on ‘direct to home’ platforms to around 10,000 viewers in India.

Earlier this month, BT Sport launched Europe’s first live sports Ultra HD Channel – BT Sport Ultra HD.

Sunday's FA Community Shield, which saw Arsenal beat Chelsea 1-0, was the first 4K match to be broadcast on the new channel.

Other live events will be shown in 4K throughout the season, including selected games from the UEFA Champions League, Barclays Premier League, FA Cup and Aviva Premiership Rugby.

'Cinematic experience'

“There have been a number of recent industry forums which have cast doubt on the popularity of 4K, but I think that the ICC Cricket, and now this exciting announcement from BT Sport, proves that the industry is actually ready to embrace this huge enhancement to viewer experience,” said BT Media & Broadcast vice president Mark Wilson-Dunn.

“From an outside broadcast and network delivery perspective, we have done a huge amount of work and learned a great deal about the best ways to deliver 4K both from a technology and craft perspective.

“We are ready to go and looking forward to it.”

Jamie Hindhaugh, BT Sport and BT TV’s chief operating officer, said: “BT Sport’s UEFA Champions League coverage sets out to bring viewers the best ever experience of football’s leading club competition.

“Our 4K coverage of the UEFA Champions League alongside other competitions will bring a truly cinematic experience into fans’ living rooms.”

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