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BT Sport claims first with Premier League broadcast

UK pay-television broadcaster BT Sport has claimed a landmark with the delivery of the first live broadcast in 4K High Dynamic Range (4K HDR) and Dolby Atmos sound.

Featuring Saturday’s English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Newcastle United, the game was shown at the IBC convention in Amsterdam.

BT Sport teamed up with the Media & Broadcast division of parent company, telco BT, for the venture. It also delivered an hour-long, live broadcast in 8K showcasing the Premiership Rugby 7s tournament.

Jamie Hindhaugh, chief executive of BT Sport, said: “We will continue to innovate in this area and viewers can expect more to come around personalisation and immersive audio.

“BT Sport has a rich history of the leading the industry with broadcast innovation, whether it’s this season’s launch of one of the world’s first HDR channels, BT Sport Ultimate, or, our 2018 world-first 5G-enabled remote production broadcast in London.”

In other news, BT Sport has detailed how it is using remote production to significantly increase its live coverage of the National League, the fifth tier of club football in England.

BT Sport holds exclusive rights to the National League through to the end of the 2020-21 season. This season it is covering 30 live matches, up from 20 in 2018-19. It is also creating a highlights programme featuring every goal from all 11 weekly matches. Airing on Saturdays at 7:30pm, this is reportedly broadcast “closer to the final whistle that has been done before on linear live TV”.

One National League match is aired live each week, using a 10-camera setup at the stadium. The director and most of the production team are located at BT Sport’s remote production hub, at its studios in Stratford, London.

Hindhaugh said, according to the Broadcast Sport website: “4G remote production means we can have a presence at every National League ground and bring all the action into Stratford instantly, as opposed to costly or unrealistic fibre/satellite which isn’t always at these small grounds. Remote production frees up resource to deploy cameras and talent to a wider variety of locations, improving creativity and editorial quality.”