TF1 to give French audience Champions League final in 4K
TF1, the French commercial broadcaster, will present its free-to-air coverage of European soccer's prestigious Uefa Champions League final later this month in ultra high-definition.
The final of the pan-European competition on 23 August in Portugal will mark the date that TF1’s 4K ultra high-definition channel is revamped, and the broadcaster has said it will pave the way for a new range of sports and entertainment programming.
As well as the Champions League final, which TF1 picked up the free-to-air rights to late last month, the broadcaster will show the French men’s national team’s game against Croatia on 8 September in 4K.
Sport being shown in 4K has become more common in France in recent years, with Canal Plus, the pay-TV broadcaster, showing both soccer and rugby union through that format over the last three years.
TF1 picked up Champions League final rights from Altice, the European media and telecoms group which is the exclusive Champions League rights-holder in France.
This year’s final will take place at the Estadio da Luz, and will conclude a condensed knockout stage of the Champions League, which will be played under a Final Eights format with single legs from the quarter-finals onwards, with all games in Lisbon.
The competition has been suspended since March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Altice, which shows the Champions League through its subscription sports broadcaster RMC Sport, holds rights until to the end of the 2020-21 season and must adhere to a stipulation under French television regulations that the showpiece finale to the competition is shown on a free-to-air channel.
The game will also be aired simultaneously on RMC Sport.
Late last year, Canal Plus and BeIN Sports, another pay-TV network, replaced Altice as the Champions League rights-holder in France from the start of the 2021-22 season, picking up the rights in a three-year deal.
As part of that agreement, it has already been revealed that TF1 will also show the competition’s final free-to-air from 2022. A decision has yet to be made on the 2021 final.
This year’s Champions League will restart with the second legs of remaining last-16 games being played at the prescribed venues later this week, before single-leg quarter-finals are played in Lisbon on 12, 13, 14 and 15 August.
The elite competition still has French representation with Lyon taking on Juventus in the second leg of their last-16 tie on 7 August, leading 1-0 from the first game, and Paris Saint-Germain already through to the quarter-finals.