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NHK tries 8K for Rugby World Cup

Content will be available to other broadcasters in UHD/4K

Japanese broadcaster NHK will offer coverage of the Rugby World Cup to its domestic audience in 8K, the first time rugby has been produced in 8K.

The event begins on 20th September in Tokyo with organisers predicting it will reach 800 million households in 217 territories, surpassing the 683 million homes record in 2015.

A total of 34 cameras will cover all angles for the semi-finals and the final, rising from the 28 and 23 camera plans used for other categories of matches during the six-week tournament.

According to the organisers, coverage will be offered through multiple feeds in multiple formats, with content available in UHD/4K. It’s expected NHK will be the only broadcaster offering 8K.

Augmented Reality graphics will be deployed for 34 of the 48 matches during the tournament for elements such as team line-ups, player comparisons, statistics and tables. Hawk-Eye Smart Replay technology will be used in the areas of television match officials, medical and fan engagement.

International Games Broadcast Services co-project director Dan Miodownik said: “We identified the areas where we could enhance the experience and looked at the ways in which we could deliver more content and in ways that rugby viewers have not seen before. By matching World Rugby’s ambition with our experience, I believe we have achieved that objective. It is going to be an exciting project.”