CBS Will Use 8K Cameras at Super Bowl LIII

Mike Wheatley

American broadcaster CBS is doing its bit to justify the decision of anyone who shelled out a small fortune to get their hands on a glitzy new 8K television. The network has just announced its plans for its coverage of the NFL Super Bowl LIII, saying it will have 115 cameras at the game, including “multiple” 8K cameras.


Super Bowl LIII will therefore be the first ever live U.S. event to be covered using 8K cameras. Not all the action will be in 8K resolution however, as CBS says the cameras will only be used for “dramatic close-up views” of the action – most likely replays - in what amounts to a kind of test broadcast using the technology.

The majority of the action will instead be filmed using regular HD cameras, though CBS will also have 16 4K cameras and nine Sony 4800 camera systems positioned around the field in order to help capture the gameplay.

CBS said these specialised cameras will be used to provide “additional angles” of coverage, plus “super slow motion replays” and “cut out perspectives” at higher resolutions.

The broadcaster said it plans to have more than 25 cameras flanking each endzone, with three super slow motion cameras located at the goal posts and 14 spread out along the side of the pitch. This means that more than 50 camera feeds will be produced from the endzones, enabling CBS to provide viewers with multiple views of the action via instant replays.

CBS will also use augmented reality graphics as part of its coverage, designed to help with in-game analysis. It plans to use four cameras to present live AR images, and 10 more that will be used to help create virtual graphics.

Although CBS’s 8K cameras are only being used to supplement its Super Bowl coverage, the announcement is nonetheless encouraging as it will help to demonstrate the feasibility of broadcasting the higher resolution via satellite. It comes after Japanese broadcaster NHK launched the world’s first 8K satellite TV channel last year.

More broadcasts like this are certainly needed, because while 8K TVs were all the rage at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, it’s almost impossible to find any native content to watch on them. That’s why most TV manufacturers are resorting to using upscaling technology on their 8K TVs. It also helps to explain why several major TV makers banded together last week to create the 8K Alliance, which has set itself the goal of promoting 8K among content producers and providers.

Super Bowl LIII will take place on February 3 in Atlanta.