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Fox Sports Calls a 4K Play

Building on its earlier work with NASCAR and college basketball, Fox Sports is set to produce one college football game per week in 4K – for a total of 13 games.

Its first college gridiron production in 4K will take place this Saturday (Sept. 2) at noon ET, when the Maryland Terrapins visit the Texas Longhorns.

Other confirmed matchups that Fox Sports will produce in the pixel-packed format this season include Minnesota at Oregon State (Sept. 9); Northern Illinois at Nebraska (Sept. 16); UCLA at Utah (Nov 3); and Iowa at Nebraska (Nov. 24).

RELATED: Fox Sports to Adopt Six-Second Spot Format

Fox Sports will distribute its full slate of college football games in 4K with DirecTV, which has been using its satellite TV platform to spearhead an ambitious strategy around the emerging video format.

“They've got the distribution, and they have the technology to move 4K from the remote [location] to the house,” Michael Davies, Fox Sports’s senior vice president of field and technical operations, said.

Fox is also discussing 4K distribution of this season’s college football games with other MVPDs, including Layer3 TV, the Denver-based provider that has launched service in a handful of markets and supports 4K on all its boxes. 

RELATED: Layer3 TV Cites Strong Demand for 4K Fare

The college football slate represents Fox Sports’s most significant 4K project to date.

“This gives us a great opportunity to flex our muscles a bit with what 4K can be,” Davies said. “College football at this level is something that can be done in 4K and can be done successfully, so we're excited about giving it a try.”

Much more about Fox Sports’s 4K plans and the lessons it has learned so far will be featured in the Sept. 4 issue of Multichannel News.