Rogers Goes All-In on 4K With Plans To Broadcast Every Toronto Blue Jays Home Game in 4K HDR
Rogers has introduced Rogers 4K TV, the network’s commitment to go all-in on 4K in 2016, with plans to broadcast every Toronto Blue Jays home game and more than 20 marquee NHL games in 4K with high dynamic range (HDR) on Sportsnet.
“You can see the stitching of the ball, the writing on the puck,” says Guy Laurence, president/CEO, Rogers Communications. “It’s a whole new way to watch TV.”
In total, the Toronto-based network will broadcast more than 100 events live in 4K. Rogers also inked a deal with Canadian streaming service shomi and Netflix, giving customers access to an ever growing catalog of Netflix original series in 4K and more than 500 hours of live sports coverage , movies, and shows.
While 4K TV sets are already on the market and in living rooms throughout North America, 4K — particularly in live sports coverage — continues to be a specialty production tool within an HD complement, given the challenges of transmitting and distributing a 4K signal. However, because Rogers owns the Toronto Blue Jays and Rogers Center in addition to being the team’s cable provider, the network controls the entire infrastructure from capture to delivery.
“Our engineers have been working for a long time on [ensuring that] what they capture is what shows up in living rooms,” says Laurence. “We own the team, stadium, Sportsnet; we control the boxes, we control the infrastructure, so we control the end-to-end experience.”
Rogers worked with Dome Productions to build two 4K-capable mobile units, which will hit the road early next year. The network will begin to rehearse the new 4K workflow in the coming weeks and plans to be fully 4K-ready by January.
In 2016, Rogers will launch Rogers Ignite Gigabit (4K-ready gigabit Internet speeds), a new 4K set-top box, and the world’s largest commitment to broadcasting in 4K with HDR. The network will broadcast selected NHL games, beginning with the Montreal Canadiens at Toronto Maple Leafs on Jan. 23, and all 81 of the Toronto Blue Jays’ home games.
Perfect for streaming 4K, Rogers Ignite Gigabit Internet will begin rolling out this year, starting in downtown Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area; by the end of 2016, its gigabit Internet speeds will be available to more than 4 million homes, including Rogers’s entire cable footprint across Ontario and Atlantic Canada.
“I can’t tell you how proud we are of the team and what they’ve achieved,” says Laurence. “Hopefully, this is just the beginning.”