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Sony successfully streams first live North American soccer game in 4K

In recent years, live sports have lagged conspicuously behind the rest of streaming entertainment. Lack of availability and reliability has plagued the over-the-top sports market, but today brought news of another step forward. Sony Electronics has announced its participation in successful streaming trials of live 4K sporting events, including the first live North American soccer broadcast in 4K by Univision Deportes.

The events were streamed live and in 4K via the NeuLion Digital Platform and were delivered over-the-top exclusively to Sony 4K HDR Ultra HD TVs with integrated NeuLion 4K Streaming SDK. Availability was limited to select audiences in New York, Florida, and California. Trials began in early 2016 and are expected to continue through the summer.

Univision Deportes Network (UDN) is the number one Spanish-language sports network in the world, and participated in this round of trials by producing the groundbreaking soccer event referenced above. The match took place at Marlins Park in Miami, Florida on February 10 and pitted Mexico against Senegal in an international friendly.

Related: NBA airs live game in 4K Ultra HD for the first time

“Sony 4K HDR Ultra HD TVs are the logical choice for these 4K events because with our experience in 4K HDR shooting, editing, recording, storage, playback, and transmission, we understand 4K display technology like no other company,” said Sunil Nayyar, Sony’s Director of Product Marketing, TV, and Projectors for North America. “These 4K live streaming tests reveal that the streaming and broadcast of live 4K sports is on its way to consumers in the near future. And Sony’s line-up of 4K HDR Ultra HD TVs is ready today.”

Recent months have brought quite a bit of news on the 4K sports front, as the NBA aired its first game in the format back in January — though it wasn’t streamed and was available only in the U.K. and Canada.

Hopefully, the momentum will continue and Mr. Nayyar’s “near future” timetable will hold true — there are a whole lot of rabid sports fans out there that are champing at the bit to watch their teams tilt with rival squads in glorious 4K.