Live Sports is the Most Popular 4K/UHD Video Content

Benedicte Guichard | Tue Aug 02 2016 | Industry insights

According to a recent survey, live sports is believed to be the most popular 4K UHD video content, and OTT should rapidly grow as a distribution channel.

Remember the days when a television was the size of a freight lorry and picture quality was as grainy as sandpaper? If you do, you will probably also remember the introduction of HD or High Definition. HD is clearer, sharper, brighter and makes everything seem more real - and when it comes to live sporting events; picture quality is everything. And now there’s 4K UHD (Ultra High Definition).

4K UHD boasts a 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution, delivering around eight million pixels in total - it isn't just twice the resolution of full HD, it's four times the resolution - and it is becoming increasingly popular by the day.

Just before the Olympics, everybody is getting psyched up for watching some top-notch live sports. Live sporting events benefit the most from the higher resolution offer by 4K UHD and are a top reason consumers continue to keep for traditional pay TV packages.

According to a survey done by SNL Kagan and Irdeto, 65% of video service providers and 61% of content producers project that live sports will be the most popular 4K UHD content among consumers - and as sporting events are such immersive experiences, it's easy to understand why.

This chart illustrates just how much a dominant force live sports is expected to be in the world of 4K UHD video:

Live sports and UHD streaming video

According to the same survey, concerning the channels that will dominate 4K UHD over a one to three-year-plus period, live video experts believe that within one year, cable and satellite operators will take an early lead, with 40% and 44%, respectively. Moreover, 41% say that downloadable or physical media will be a dominant force; however, like HD DVDs before them, these experts feel that downloadable or physical media will decline in dominance over time.

Also, The marriage between OTT and 4K UHD will solidify and flourish within the next few years, increasing from 23% within one year to 45% within one to three years, as the chart shows:

OTT distribution and UHD video

It is plain to see that live sports, OTT and 4K UHD is the perfect trio, and as further developments take place in the not so distant future, we can expect great things.

Live sports provide some of the world's most exciting visual spectacles and with the right picture quality, coupled with the perfect streaming service, it won't be long before fans sitting at home will feel like they're a genuine part of the action. Funky times are ahead. 

If you plan to broadcast live sports online, do the maths and project your revenues and costs:

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