A Wider World Cup in 2006

FIFA has agreed to broadcast the next World Cup in widescreen format. That is, the letterbox format used in movies. It sounds like a perfect ploy to get soccer fans around the world to upgrade their television sets. If its not broadcast in High-def though, I can’t imagine the extra image room adding much to the experience. Plus, if you keep an old 4:3 set until then, you’d have to put up with ugly black bars at the top and bottom of your screen. Luckily, we’re already planning to be in Germany in 2006!

But put those numbers against the cumulative World Cup audience of roughly 44 billion viewers in more than 200 countries, and you begin to see why Philips would spend big to be the next games’ sole consumer electronics sponsor.