About Sony

The biggest sporting event.
Live TV production’s biggest challenge.

Sony Europe is providing live TV production facilities at the world’s greatest sporting event – in HD and for the first time in Ultra-HD 4K.

This summer’s 2014 FIFA World Cup™ will grip the biggest television audience on the planet.

3.2 billion people, or almost half the world’s population, watched the last World Cup with an incredible 71,000 hours broadcast across 240 territories.

The action runs from 12 June to 13 July this year, with 64 matches played at twelve Brazilian venues. It’s easily the world’s biggest challenge in live TV production.

Supporting FIFA’s huge HD production coverage, Sony will provide around 300 technical and production specialists in addition to a massive array of production equipment and facilities to be deployed at all 12 tournament stadia. The Sony teams will capture some 2,500 hours of live match action.

There are no second chances with live TV production. There are no re-takes. No easy fixes in post-production. It’s a high-wire act, making immense technical demands on equipment and crews to get the best shots every time.


Camera operators, vision mixers, directors and support staff must be able to adapt instantly to the environment they find themselves in – whether it’s Brasilia, Salvador or Manaus. Language and cultural differences must be overcome so that everyone can work together and deliver a match-winning performance.

Delivering history this summer

This summer’s live TV coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ represents one of the largest ever managed services contracts delivered through Sony’s Professional Solutions Group. It’s a huge logistical enterprise that’s been in planning with a dedicated six-man team at Sony since July 2011, ultimately demanding the massive mobilisation of people, equipment and organisational resources.

As the world’s fifth largest country, Brazil’s sheer geographical size poses additional headaches of its own. Shifting production crews over large distances is expensive, time-consuming and logistically complex. Over the course of a month, production personnel from Sony and its partners will clock up 50,000 kilometres using 47 specially-chartered aircraft as they shuttle across the globe and between host cities.

Confederations Cup, 2013. 4K Lessons Learnt Seminar.

Overall responsibility for TV coverage of the tournament lies with FIFA's TV division. Sony Professional Solutions Europe was appointed to provide live TV production facilities throughout the tournament at all twelve match venues across Brazil.

Delivering such a complex live production on an unprecedented scale requires world-class teamwork. Supporting Sony with hardware and staff in Brazil are key partners sonoVTS, Presteigne Charter, CTV Outside Broadcast, AMP VISUAL TV, Outside Broadcast NV, Broadcast RF and Studio Berlin.

Under Sony’s overall direction, these highly skilled partners will provide everything from camera installations to audio and video equipment racks, air conditioning and crews. Facilities will be housed within purpose-built Studio containers located at all venues.

Best-of-breed HD products from Sony will be combined seamlessly with hardware elements from other vendors. The result: the largest and most technically sophisticated live production infrastructure ever assembled to cover a live sporting event.

Each match will involve 53 of the Sony team embedded within the host broadcast facility, from the director through to CCU operators to audio operators. This includes 22-people in the slow-motion unit and five operators for Infotainment. There are also an additional 30 people who are the actual camera operators, including one aboard a helicopter and two using remote control from within the OB facility. And this is just for HD. When a match is also shot in 4K, an additional fifty people join the production working within their own 4k production facilities.

By way of comparison, NASA’s famous mission control had just 50 people per shift for a Shuttle launch!

The world’s first 4K FIFA World Cup

This is the inside story of the people and the technology who’ll be making every moment of every match an unforgettable experience for TV viewing audiences worldwide.

And it’s also the story of the first ever 4K FIFA World Cup. Building on FIFA's and Sony’s successful 4K trial at the FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 in Brazil, footage from three key games will be captured in detail-packed Ultra HD. Providing a truly immersive viewing experience, 4K pictures from this summer’s tournament will offered to select broadcasters and also distributed via retail stores, online and in cinemas.

Join us on the road to Rio, and get the whole picture on the world's biggest ever live TV production - including 4K workflow and updates direct from the live production team in Brazil.

Sony’s PMW-F55 will be capturing the 4K action in Brazil

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We know that nobody likes being bombarded with irrelevant information, and so will always endeavour to provide you only with information we believe is of use to you as a Live Production professional. Our first communication will be packed with information from the FIFA World Cup™ - including an exclusive White Paper on the 4K workflow.