As White Wolf first reported back in February, the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup will be broadcast in 4K on DIRECTV. All 52 matchups from the Group Stage to the Final will be shown in ultra-high-definition. Now, the World Cup is a huge worldwide event, but there are other big sporting events that should be broadcast in 4K sooner rather than later, too.
Stanley Cup Final
If you have the right television, hockey already pops off the screen because of the bright white ice; but the sport would look really awesome in ultra-high-definition broadcasts. Hockey in 4K would allow you to see the puck more clearly, along with the ice flying up as players zoom around the rink—and ideally, we’d at least get it for the final round with the Cup on the line. NBC broadcasts the Stanley Cup Final, and they aired a wide-ranging event like the Olympics in 4K, so it should be possible to get seven hockey games in the high-end format.
Championship rounds always have a different atmosphere, and that feels most clear for the Super Bowl and World Series, with the crowds clearly sounding more energized even from sitting on the couch at home. The picture quality should also get crisper for the Fall Classic, which would make the entire experience in 4K feel more like you’re actually at the stadium than at home. Like hockey, baseball deals with a smaller object of play (a hockey puck and a baseball), so getting higher resolution helps viewers track the ball better around the diamond.
HBO got out of boxing, which is disappointing, but those remaining players in the fight game—like Showtime, ESPN, and DAZN—should do their best to get out consistent 4K broadcasts to make fight night a bigger and better event worth spending a weekend night on. Boxing and UFC fights don’t need a bunch of cameras to capture as many angles as professional team sports, so a 4K broadcast should be easier to accomplish. One issue is inconsistent internet connection and the bandwidth requirements for ultra-HD on streaming platforms like ESPN+ and DAZN, especially for live events as opposed to pre-recorded 4K content.
NFL Sunday Ticket
DIRECTV’s contract for NFL Sunday Ticket can expire after this season because the NFL has an opt-out, and it’s obviously a very lucrative package for them to offer to their customers, so they’ll be doing whatever they can to extend the partnership with the NFL. The AT&T company would be smart to offer a 4K option for Sunday Ticket in 2019, which would make many customers very happy and more loyal as the NFL decides where to place Sunday Ticket for the next several years. Whichever network eventually gets Sunday Ticket, 4K should be a must so America can watch its favorite sport in the highest quality video available for 17 Sundays of the year. Cable companies might get mad that the NFL allows DIRECTV to broadcast in 4K, but fans that spend hundreds of dollars per year in extra to watch every game should get that perk.
Finally, it’s time we get the Big Game in 4K. As stated earlier, NBC broadcasts the Olympics in 4K; and FOX (World Cup) and CBS (golf tournaments) have used the ultra-high-definition format, too. With all three Super Bowl networks having the capability to air live sports in 4K, it’s a bit ridiculous the biggest sporting event of the year (in the U.S., at least) doesn’t get that treatment. Yes, the majority of viewers would not have access to the Super Bowl in 4K because only DIRECTV and Dish currently offer 4K live sports (though that could change next year), but if the networks can get enough cameras to show the game in ultra-HD, they should simply show it for the people that can see it.