UEFA Denies UHD for Euro 2024 and Champions League Final

No UHD Quality for Euro 2024 and Champions League Final

Next month’s Champions League final and the EURO 2024 football tournament will be produced in 1080p HD high dynamic range (HDR) instead of 4K UHD. The decision to downgrade the host production format for the Champions League final from 4K for the first time in nine years reflects a growing trend away from 4K production for major sports broadcasts in the US and the UK.

UEFA Cancels UHD for Euro 2024

According to a report by Adrian Pennington for the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC), the primary reason for the downgrade is a lack of interest from broadcasters and rights holders. Additionally, there is debate over the necessity of 4K production when many consumers watch sports on social networks, often in a vertical format.

BT Sport became Europe’s first 4K broadcaster eight years ago, but few others have followed suit. The IBC report suggests that the cost of purchasing new equipment and upgrading studios and outside broadcast vans is not being recouped by a rise in subscriptions, as viewers are largely unwilling to pay a premium for higher-resolution broadcasts.

The marginal visual improvement of 4K UHD compared to Full HD HDR is also a factor. Studies comparing HD HDR and 4K indicate that viewers prefer the sharper contrast and detail in light and shade provided by the HD version.

Eamonn Curtin, global client director for EMG/Gravity Media, told IBC: “There’s been a change in delivery format for a lot of major international and domestic tournaments, with broadcasters now favoring 1080p HDR as the preferred choice.

“It’s a benefit for us technically since we only have one signal to produce and manage rather than the four required for the UHD signal.”

Will the Change Be Noticeable?

Most viewers won’t notice the absence of UHD coverage for either UEFA event. The widespread use of cine-style cameras at the Euros will deliver a cinematic quality that viewers have not experienced before.

The entertainment industry is still working towards an 8K future. NHK has been pioneering this technology for nearly two decades, having demonstrated its potential as far back as the 2012 London Olympics.

“We are seeing 8K being used more extensively in the production process,” said Juan Reyes, director of operations at the 8K Association and moderator of the “8K Technology and Its Impact on the Production Process” panel at the NAB Show, as reported by TV Tech.

There will also be an end-to-end 8K live stream produced during the Paris Olympics. However, it seems the industry has become more realistic about delivering resolution for resolution’s sake.

Many in sports broadcasting have long advocated for greater clarity in viewing live sports action by increasing the frame rate. High Frame Rates (HFR) are already included in the UHD specification, with 120fps displayed at 120Hz as the target.

Jimmy E
Writer & Tipster

Jimmy is our on-duty tipster and writer. His favorite sports are cricket, tennis, and basketball. If you’re looking for the best betting tips in the business, Jimmy’s your guy. His tips and events previews are among the most read at BetZillion.

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