Supersport talks 4K channels and its focus on giving viewers more ways to watch

With a number of major sporting events taking place over the next couple of months, Supersport remains a world-class service with live broadcasts of the FIFA World Cup, Wimbledon and a number of major international rugby tests.

While the group now boasts 12 high definition sports channels as well as live streaming through its DStv Now platform, one topic that has not received much attention is the possibility of 4K broadcasts.

Speaking to BusinessTech, Supersport communications manager Clinton van der Berg explained that any new technology in the consumer market goes through an adoption cycle or dies.

This was the case with recent 3D television technology which despite starting out with much hype has all but fizzled out and died. However he noted that the team at Supersport thinks that 4K technology is here to stay, even if there are still some kinks to work out.

“Our expectation is not that UHD/4K will go the same way, but until standards are clear and consumers can buy TVs with confidence knowing that all forms of HDR are supported, the technology is still emerging and it would be too early to introduce,” he said.

He added that Supersport would continue to keep an eye on international developments as standards for UHD/4K broadcasting emerge.

“For now, our focus is on expanding our HD offering, which offers good quality viewing to our customers. Many South Africans, and DStv customers, still don’t have HD viewing in their homes – therefore, we offer HD on all our packages.

“We have several SuperSport channels in HD (12 in SA, seven across the Africa territories and another two in Angola specifically), particularly as sport is best viewed in HD. Broadcasts are also available in HD on DStv Now for customers to stream.”

He added that Supersport would continue to focus on offering as many customers as possible the opportunity to watch.

“For example recently migrating our M-Net analogue customers to digital means they now watch in HD too/ We also have sales specials on our DStv HD Decoder (single view) and Explora with installation to make it more accessible to more customers,” he said.

He noted that it was also difficult to say just how many subscribers watch in HD as its dependent depends on whether they have an HD TV in their home.

“They could have Explora decoders or HD single-view decoders but if this is not connected to an HD TV then they are not watching in HD,” he said.


Read: Inside SuperSport’s impressive World Cup studio – Photos

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