Sky Sports to kick off Premier League Ultra HD with HDR coverage

Mike Wheatley

Sky Q has pulled off an artsy publicity stunt as it gets ready to broadcast Premier League football action in Ultra HD with HDR, unveiling a huge mural in London featuring England heroes Jordan Pickford, Luke Shaw and Raheem Sterling.


Sky said the “hyper real” mural created by Bristol-based street artist Jody Thomas is meant to showcase the benefits of HDR when watching live football.

The broadcaster said last month it will add HDR to its live Premier League games for the upcoming 2021/22 season, following its 4K HDR coverage of the Tokyo Olympics.

HDR is a big deal. Already a common format on movies, it expands the range of contrast and colour quite significantly, with brighter parts of the image becoming brighter still, and more detail shown in the dark areas, so there’s more depth to the picture. The range of colours is expanded too, which means more bright blues, reds and greens and every shade in between. Every detail looks more realistic, and more life like.

Sky said it commissioned the mural of Pickford, Shaw and Sterling after they topped a Sky Sports poll of fans’ favourite players during Euro 2020, coming in ahead of Manchester City’s new signing Jack Grealish and West Ham’s Declan Rice.

“The hyper-real street art brings to life the qualities of Sky Q’s live HDR Premier League coverage through Thomas’ distinct use of colour, creating a true-to-life picture of the footballing talent,” Sky said. “The artwork, which took more than 70 hours to complete and features more than 55 colours and shades, can be found on Tottenham High Road – near the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – for football fans to get closer to their favourite players.”

Sky’s poll actually produced quite a few insights, finding that 61% of footy fans favour watching a game at home when they’re unable to be there in person, ahead of the local pub at 30%. It also found that more than two-thirds of fans, 67%, believe the standard of English football is the highest its ever been in terms of quality, with 45% saying they love football so much they “wouldn’t know what to do” without it.

More than 20% said they simply can’t get enough football and watch at least ten games a month, though 18% said they only ever tune in to watch their own team play, ignoring other games.


“This summer we saw how football has the fantastic power to bring people together – sharing each other’s passion for the sport is really special!,” said Jody Thomas, the artist who brought Sky’s mural to life. “Seeing the fans get up close and personal with the nation’s favourite players, with my latest mural for Sky Q, has been amazing.”

Sky said it will kick off its Ultra HD with HDR coverage with Arsenal’s first fixture away to Premier League new boys Brentford on Friday night.

To tune in to the live Ultra HD with HDR coverage, fans will need to sign up for a Sky Sports or Sky Sports Football subscription that starts at £20 a month, plus the ‘Ultra HD + HD’ TV Extra that costs an additional £11 a month. Of course, viewers will also need a HDR-capable TV to take advantage of the offering.