2006 FIFA World Cup™ in widescreen format

Infront is working closely with FIFA and Philips to make the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ the first ever World Cup to be produced entirely in the widescreen television format.

Zug, Switzerland – Infront Sports & Media, FIFA's exclusive television partner, is working closely with FIFA and Philips to make the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ the first ever World Cup to be produced entirely in the widescreen television format.

The announcement of this exciting development for sport was made just ahead of the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ Preliminary Draw in Germany today. Widescreen has become a popular feature of home entertainment in recent years, with many new digital broadcast services and the DVD disc format all offering content in widescreen aspect ratios such as 16:9 and 'letterbox'. Sport – football in particular – is ideal subject matter for widescreen viewing, as the width of a 16:9 display recreates the sensation and experience that the fan enjoys in the stadium.

Between now and the start of the 2006 FIFA World Cup™, Philips, FIFA and Infront will work together closely on the project. Philips will communicate the home entertainment benefits that widescreen broadcasting will bring to sports fans all over the world.

Gottfried Dutine, Executive Vice president and member of the Board of Management of Philips commented on the deal: "The widescreen of the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ will add an exciting new dimension to home viewing of the world's most popular sport."

Broadcast coverage of the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan™ reached 213 countries – virtually every nation in the world – with over 41,000 hours of dedicated programming, making the event the most extensively covered and viewed event in television history.

"With each successive competition we have been able to add new and exciting media innovations to make home viewing that much more enjoyable. The use of widescreen broadcasting will offer audiences a fantastic view of the action," said FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter

"Infront is pleased to support this exciting initiative with Philips, thus ensuring that the broadcast of the FIFA World Cup remains at the cutting edge of innovation and quality, setting a standard for other international events to follow," said Oscar Frei, CEO and President of Infront Sports & Media.

Philips is an Official Partner of the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ in the consumer electronics category. As one of the world's leading innovators of television and display technologies, it has been a pioneer of the application of widescreen home entertainment since the 1960s. In 1990 Philips introduced the first widescreen TV in Europe.

Infront Sports & Media handles the global sales of all broadcast rights for the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ worldwide and is also responsible for the host broadcast. This is undertaken by a subsidiary company, Host Broadcast Services (HBS)