European satellite broadcaster Sky has announced today that it’s going to be adding cricket coverage to its portfolio of 4K programming.
The broadcaster – which already delivers Formula 1 and more than 100 games from the UK’s Premier Football League in 4K resolution to owners of its Sky Q receivers – is going to debut its 4K cricket coverage in July when England start to take on South Africa in a test match cricket series running through to August.
Sky has confirmed that every single ball of the four-game series will get the 4K treatment from multiple 4K cameras. This potentially adds up to more than a hundred hours of exclusive live 4K broadcast footage for Sky Q viewers in the UK and Ireland if all the matches run to their full five day duration.
Sky has also stated that the live 4K footage will be accompanied by native Ultra HD graphics, as well as enhanced statistics and the usual Hawkeye graphics for checking umpire decisions.
Cricket has long felt to me like a pretty much perfect sport for 4K given the small size of the ball, the large size of the pitch and the potential benefits to be gained from being able to zoom in at higher resolution on key parts of the action.
The dates of these first four UHD cricket matches are as follows:
1st Test (Lord’s): 6-10 July
2nd Test (Trent Bridge): 14-18 July
3rd Test (Oval): 27-31 July
4th Test (Old Trafford): 4-8 August
Sky Sports’ Head of Cricket, Bryan Henderson, has this to say of the UHD cricket announcement: “With Ultra HD, customers can enjoy the four Test matches, with four times better picture quality and four times greater clarity. It is a first for Sky Sports and we can’t wait to bring you closer to the action, excitement and drama that the South Africa Test series will deliver this summer.”