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FOX's Super Bowl coverage to showcase title game in HD range

FOX (US)'s coverage of Super Bowl LIV will be the first NFL championship game produced in the 1080p HD range format.

Kevin Callahan, director of technical operations at Fox Corp.'s FOX Sports, told attendees at a sports conference in New York on Dec. 17 that the network’s 1080p HDR production will also extend to its studio programming, as well as the Super Bowl halftime show, featuring Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.

"All of the programming on FOX from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday will be produced in 1080p HDR," said Callahan, noting the network presented its just-completed schedule of "Thursday Night Football" games in the format.

The high-resolution coverage will be available through FOX Sports and FOX NOW apps, as well as via systems owned by legacy pay TV distributors, and through virtual providers, according to FOX Sports executives.

Although marking a step forward in terms of production and quality, FOX’s Super Bowl LIV coverage falls short of originating the telecast in 4K, which offers 4x the pixel resolution of standard high-definition TV. Mike Davies, FOX Sports vice president of field operations and engineering, said that 1080p HDR, however, will provide better images for most of the viewing audience.

"We do need to serve the greater audience of 100 million plus domestically and make sure the experience is good for them," he said. Davies said at this juncture filming sports in native 4K results in more motion blurring as cameras pan to follow the action.

With 30-second ad prices reaching as high as $5.6 million, Fox Corp. sold out all of its in-game commercial inventory in Super Bowl LIV some 10 weeks before the game.