Globo to Show TV ‘Future’ With 4K World Cup Broadcast

Brazil’s largest broadcaster will set up large outdoor screens in Rio to broadcast the soccer World Cup final, giving fans a glimpse of television’s future.

Globo Comunicacao & Participacoes SA, the Brazilian broadcaster owned by the billionaire Marinho family, will work with Sony Corp. and soccer’s governing body FIFA to broadcast three World Cup games, including the July 13 final, in an ultra-high definition format as a way to “look at the future,” Jose Manuel Marino, the TV network’s head of technology for sports, said in a telephone interview.

The company will set up special 65-inch (165-centimeter) screens in Rio de Janeiro’s lush Jardim Botanico neighborhood to broadcast the matches in the new format, known as 4K, he said. Globo will need about 2,500 workers to broadcast the monthlong tournament, with about 1,500 of them accredited by FIFA, spread over the world’s fifth-largest country, according to Marino. Given the size of the team and the distances involved, Globo’s coverage “will be the largest I know of,” he said.

Closely held Organizacoes Globo, Latin America’s largest media group, owns broadcaster Globo. The group is controlled by brothers Roberto Irineu, Joao Roberto and Jose Roberto Marinho, who have a combined fortune of more than $26 billion, according to the Bloomberg billionaires rankings.

Sony and FIFA tested the 4K format last year during the Confederations Cup in closed door, invitation-only broadcasts of selected games. The technology has also been used in a few countries, including South Korea, for non-live events, Marino said. It’s a long way to becoming a mainstream option because spectrum and regulations have yet to be established, he said.

Sony, Japan’s largest electronics exporter, sells 4K televisions for $5,869 apiece on its Brazilian website and $2,699 on its U.S. website.

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