The BBC’s entire coverage of this summer’s World Cup as well as major Wimbledon matches will be broadcast in high-definition TV (HDTV).
They will be the first major sporting events to be broadcast in HDTV in the UK and are part of a 12-month BBC trial of the format.
However, the programmes will only be available on digital TV via Sky’s forthcoming HD service, NTL Telewest’s HD service and to a limited number of people in London via Freeview. Viewers will also need to have HD-ready TVs.
The benefits of HDTV
HDTV delivers more detailed pictures and sharper shots of fast-moving action than conventional broadcasts.
BBC Director of Sport Roger Mosey said: ‘High definition works particularly well for sport. It gives fantastic picture quality, from the blades of grass that are being played on right to the back of the stands, and although only limited numbers of people will be able to see this trial we hope it will be a glimpse of the future.’
Germany vs Costa Rica to be first HDTV game
BBC HD will start broadcasting on Monday 15 May with a test stream previewing forthcoming programmes. The first live HD programme will be the opening World Cup match Germany vs Costa Rica on Friday 9 June.
There will be an average of between one and two hours of HD programmes each day during the BBC’s year-long trial. They will feature natural history series such as Planet Earth and Galapagos, drama documentary Hannibal, some BBC Proms concerts including the First and Last Nights, and feature dramas such as Bleak House and Hotel Babylon.