Public broadcaster RTP of Portugal to broadcast Euro 2016 in 4K resolution

by on May 5, 2016

Stephan Jukic – May 5, 2016

4K broadcasting is moving ahead with new developments in Europe at an accelerating pace it seems. Some of the latest news of this front comes to us from the public broadcaster RTP, which will be launching an Ultra HD channel for this summer’s UEFA Euro 2016 football (soccer for North American readers) tournaments in France.

From what we know of this so far, a total of eight matches will be broadcast live and in full 4K ultra HD glory via RTP’s Ulta HD channel at the same time of day for each match (8 pm local time), and these matches will include the opening game, which is slated for June the 20th, the quarter-finals for between June 30th and July 3d and then the Semi-finals, which are scheduled for the 6th and 7th of July. Following these, the last 4K broadcast in the series will of course be the final match on July 10th.

RTP’s new channel will be distributed to subscribing football fans via licensed services like NOS, Vodafone Portugal and MEO (Portugal Telecom).

RTP has also recently signed an agreement with the pay-TV operator Sport TV to split up the TV broadcast rights to the Euro 2016. The Portuguese public channel will thus broadcast a total of 24 live matches free-to-air and these include the Portuguese national team’s games and the above-mentioned select matches live in 4K resolution. Sport TV on the other hand will broadcast the entire Euro 2016 competition via pay-TV.

As far as 4K live broadcasting is concerned, UEFA Euro 2016, the host broadcaster for the lineup of 4K and HD soccer match broadcasts, is working at what is the forefront of current broadcast technology, The organization first did trial run 4K broadcast tests at the 2014 Lisbon Champions League final and is now delivering coverage for the opening match, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final of this year’s Euro 2016 matches. These EURO 2016 4K casts will be made up of a 12 camera production that’s entirely separate from the regular HD operations for the games and the aim here is to make this smaller 4K broadcasting effort the HD replacement technology for future tournaments. Another company called Telegenic will provide the 4K OB trucks for the matches slated for UHD delivery.


Overall, 4K broadcasting of live sports events has quietly but surely moved from being something purely experimental, broadcast to closed test audiences as was the case as recently as late 2014, to being something that’s really happening for public subscriber consumption.

In both Europe and North America, we’re now seeing a growing number of live sportscasts kick off in 4K resolution for select subscribers to satellite, cable and other digital media services. In Europe, these include live 4K sportscast offerings from services like RTP and BT Sport in the UK among others while in North America, we’ve seen the emergence of live UHD sportscasts from Canadian services like Rogers, with its dozens of planned NHL Hockey and Major League Baseball match broadcasts and DirecTV with its own plans for live MLB matches throughout 2016 and beyond. Services like Sky are also moving into live sports broadcasting in 4K via satellite transmission.

4K streaming of canned content for 4K TVs from sources like Netflix and Amazon is no longer the only major source of 4K entertainment out there anymore.

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