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Canal Plus increases 4K sports commitment

Image credit: Canal+

French pay-TV broadcaster Canal Plus is making ultra high-definition coverage of the entirety of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and two English Premier League matches per week available to its subscribers.

The Vivendi-owned broadcaster already offers 4K broadcasts from Ligue 1, Top 14 and Formula One, and has now broadened out the offering.

The availability of all Rugby World Cup games in ultra HD was announced to tie in with the start of the tournament on Friday as hosts Japan faced Russia. Canal Plus subscribers can watch TF1 4K, the pop-up channel of free-to-air commercial broadcaster TF1 available via ‘Canal 4K Evènement’.

One Premier League game per week has been available on the Canal+ UHD channel since August 11 and this will double to two fixtures per week from September 30 onwards. Canal Plus said that the additional game will also be available via Canal+ Sport UHD on the Canal 4K Evènement channel.

Manchester United’s games against Arsenal (on September 30) and Newcastle United (October 6) will both be shown by Canal Plus in the 4K format.

Ultra HD programming first hit French screens in 2016 when media company AB Groupe signed a long-term deal with the telco Ericsson to develop the country’s first 4K channel. The ‘Ultra Nature’ channel was launched to showcase travel, wildlife and extreme sports programming.

Canal Plus quickly followed suit as it teamed up with the French Football League (LFP) during the 2016-17 season and began offering Sunday Ligue 1 matches in ultra HD. Last season, Canal Plus started showing one match per week in 4K from French rugby union’s top flight.