Australian pay-TV operator Foxtel will broadcast all Australian men’s international cricket and KFC BBL games in 4K during the forthcoming Australian summer on a new dedicated channel that marks the first year of a six-year A$1.182 billion (€0.75bn) broadcast rights agreement.
The Seven network will be the free-to-air broadcaster of Tests and 43 BBL matches, but international white-ball cricket will be exclusive to Foxtel subscribers, with cricket.com.au to be the home of highlights.
Foxtel will launch its dedicated 4K channel in October 2018, but the showpiece launch will be the broadcast of the November 4th One Day International at Perth Stadium.
To access the broadcast, customers would need to have a compatible 4K-capable television set, have a satellite subscription to Foxtel’s Sports HD package, and upgrade to an iQ4 set-top box.
Foxtel will deliver its 4K service via satellite, meaning subscribers will not be dependent on their Internet connection to achieve the full resolution, as is the case with online streaming services.
Foxtel subscribers who opt to not adopt the upgrade to the iQ4 set-top box, or who don’t have a 4K compatible TV, will still be able to watch the Fox Cricket channel as normal.
Fox Sports plans to rebrand one of its channels to be a dedicated Fox Cricket channel ahead of the Australian summer. That is expected to launch Fox’s coverage of Australia’s series against Pakistan in the UAE in October.
“The first thing it is going to power is cricket,” declared Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany. “This will be Australia’s first live 4K sports broadcast and it will be cricket like never before, 20 times the definition of standard definition and four times the definition of HD.”
“Innovation is in Foxtel’s DNA and we have continuously redefined entertainment for Australia putting us at the centre of connecting subscribers with the sports and the shows they love.”
“Today’s news is just the first step into a 4K future – this incredible experience will continue to expand as we bring even more sport and entertainment programming to life in guaranteed 4K, making the most of today’s ultra-modern 4K TVs.”