FIFA is considering the use of NHK’s Super Hi-Vision format to show live matches on giant screens in public venues during the next World Cup in Brazil, writes Adrian Pennington.
“FIFA wants to push technology boundaries so the question is whether we will try to produce in a higher technology format than traditional HD,” said FIFA's director of TV, Niclas Ericson at an IBC conference on Brazil. “I have seen NHK’s technology demonstration [of Super Hi-Vision]. We are studying it, but we will not take any decision until later.”
FIFA TV is responsible for public viewing rights sales and delivery. “We first delivered large screen views in Korea 2002 and the emotional impact at those sites was extraordinary. In Germany 2006 we developed that into Fanfests and then for 2010 we exported that concept to other cities around the world. We are working with governments and cities now to make sure the public can enjoy the matches outside the stadia in a in party atmosphere," he said.
“We know that many people want to use our event as a platform for new projects – 3D being the prime example in 2010. We are also fortunate to have Sony as a FIFA partner. It is not that Sony has any advantage over any other supplier in terms of technology provided to us but we benefit from their expertise. The 3D project in 2010 would not have happened at all without Sony being prepared to finance some of it.”
He added: “We are in dialogue with our broadcast clients about whether they expect 3D and if so in what quantities of matches. We will make a decision in 2012.”
Ericson expects a greater number of media rights holders than ever will cover the event on site. Having generated considerable interest among African countries during the last World Cup in South Africa, he expects more African broadcasters, in particular, to travel.
Ericson also confirmed that the International Broadcast Centre will be housed in Rio at the Riocentro, which previously accommodated an IBC for the Pan-American Games.