RAI to start 8K broadcasts in 2020
February 20, 2019
From Branislav Pekic in Rome
Italian public broadcaster RAI will start broadcasting 8K content in 2020, starting with the Tokyo Olympics, making it the first broadcaster in Europe to use the technology.
A preview of the broadcaster’s plans was made at a conference in Rome, during which several examples of productions in 4K and 8K were presented to the public.
RAI already has its own 4K (Ultra HD) channel, which is available on special occasions via free-to-air satellite platform Tivùsat, in addition to the other three 4K channels (NASA 4K, Fashion TV 4K and 4K1).
When it is on the air, Rai 4K usually broadcasts documentaries, TV series, football and other special events such as the Christmas Mass in the Vatican.
Meanwhile, daily Italia Oggi reported that RAI is likely to end 2019 in the red for around €15 million, after a profit of €14.3 million in 2017 and the substantial break-even in 2018.
The shortfall is mainly due to the €100 million lower TV licence fee revenues (amounting to €1.8 billion in 2018) diverted for other priorities and falling advertising revenues (-2.6 per cent to €633 million) and higher investments to implement the business plan which, including for the launch of an English-language TV channel.