Q. As an early 4K TV owner, I was very disappointed that this year’s Super Bowl was not in 4K. How come? Aren’t there enough 4K TV out there by now to justify this? When do you think the Super Bowl will be in 4K? — Barry, Venice, California.
A. Barry, you are right. The decision by NBC, which had the broadcast rights to the 2018 Super Bowl, not to air the game in 4K was a huge disappointment to the 4K community.
But before you bash the network any further, consider that NBC’s Sports division was a little busy prior to the game; perhaps far too busy to even consider airing the Super Bowl in 4K.
Not only did the Comcast-owned network have to prepare for the biggest sporting event of the year, it was also heavily involved in getting its broadcast team ready for the 2018 Winter Olympics. Putting together the infrastructure necessary to offer both events in one month is a Herculean effort.
And don’t forget that NBC is providing 4K coverage of the Olympics to Comcast, DIRECTV and Dish subscribers, albeit on a 24-hour delay.
So, bottom line, I think it’s fairly obvious why the 2018 Super Bowl was not broadcast in 4K. NBC simply didn’t have the available manpower and time to make it happen.
Now, that said, I think you’ll see the 2019 Super Bowl from Atlanta, Georgia in 4K. CBS has the broadcast rights, and the network is familiar and comfortable with producing a big event in 4K. For instance, DIRECTV has aired CBS’ coverage of The Masters in 4K as well as this month’s Pebble Pro-Am Golf Tournament.
Industry estimates show that more than 20 percent of U.S. homes should have 4K TVs by February 3, 2019, the day of the game, and that should be more than enough to entice CBS to invest in a 4K broadcast.
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— Phillip Swann