Will DIRECTV Air Super Bowl 2019 In 4K?


Q. I have DIRECTV and the 4K channels. My question is whether DIRECTV will show the Super Bowl in 4K. What do you think? — Dick, Dunkirk, Maryland.

A. Dick, while 4K TVs have been sold in retail stores for several years now, the Super Bowl has yet to be broadcast in the new picture format. Not only that, there hasn’t even been a single regular season NFL game in 4K! NBA and MLB games have been available in 4K, but not the NFL.

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But could that change with the 2019 Super Bowl? And if CBS, which has the live TV rights to the game, does broadcast in 4K, will DIRECTV air it in 4K?

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To date, there has been no indication that CBS is planning a 4K edition of the 2019 Super Bowl, which will be held in Atlanta, Georgia. The network has not publicly addressed the possibility, which is a little concerning considering we are at the mid-point of the 2018 season.

But that said, I think you’ll see the 2019 Super Bowl in 4K. And DIRECTV, which has a live 4K channel, would undoubtedly offer it in 4K.

I am relatively confident in my prediction because CBS 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 other golf tournaments. So CBS has an appreciation of the benefits of investing in a 4K production.

Plus, industry estimates show that more than 20 percent of U.S. homes will likely have 4K TVs by February 3, 2019, the day of the game. That should be more than enough to entice CBS to invest in a 4K broadcast.

But we’ll see. If CBS goes 4K, my guess is that we will get the announcement next month, shortly before the beginning of the playoffs.

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— Phillip Swann

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7 comments on “Will DIRECTV Air Super Bowl 2019 In 4K?”

  1. Does this have to do with the speed of sports/movement and being better adaptable to the lower resolution? FOX still transmits sports on 720p, I believe (I was told this several years ago about sports movement)…just curious if the 4K handles the movement better. I was also told that 4K involves HUGE files that take up a ton of space and bandwidth…really wonder how stations would be able to handle this in the future.

    1. FOX SPORTS does a lot of 4K live events almost 1 each week for college football, they did a lot of MLB games as well including the NLCS this year and ALCS last year.

      last year FOX did a lot of NBA games in 4K HDR, hopefully they will do some later this nba season as well

  2. It’s not resolution it’s about progressive vs. interlace. Fox and ABC/ESPN chose 720p for the progressive transmission being smoother for sports. Also 1080p wasn’t developed yet when networks were choosing their formats. 1080p still isn’t broadcast OTA. 4K is only progressive (2160p).

  3. CBS will need to buy out all of local ad spots and pay off all of the affiliates to not in force any kind of blackout of the 4k feed.

  4. i dont see “the big game” in any sport being in 4k any time soon due to advertising and ratings etc . Thats part of the issue with NFL going 4k is due to NFL being on local channels and the “red tape” will that . but thats just my opinion

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