Euro1080, the original HDTV media company in Europe, has reached an agreement with Infront Sports & Media with regard to the commercial exploitation of HDTV transmissions of the 2006 FIFA World Cup for public viewing purposes in cinemas.
Infront handles the global sales of all broadcast rights for the 2006 FIFA World Cup worldwide. Its wholly-owned subsidiary, Host Broadcast Services (HBS), will produce the multilateral signal for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in the HDTV 16/9 widescreen format.
Euro1080 has acquired the non-exclusive broadcast rights for theatrical venues or cinemas on a pay basis. It entitles the company to pick up the HDTV live feed at the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) in Munich and to distributed it to cinemas in 23 European countries, including Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Serbia-Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. By cooperating with Euro1080, cinemas will be able to organise live, pay HDTV exhibitions of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Furthermore, Euro 1080 has started talks with 2006 FIFA World Cup Official Broadcasters to bring this competition in selected markets to home viewers in HD quality. At this stage the majority of households in Europe will receive the signal only in standard definition format.
Dominik A. Schmid, executive director of Infront, said, "Infront is very happy about this initiative of Euro1080 as it supports the promotion of HDTV as the standard of the future. The agreement enables cinemas all over Europe to transmit matches of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in HD quality. It also provides an opportunity to showcase HD transmissions to home viewers in markets where national broadcasters are not yet ready to broadcast in HD quality."