Q. I see from your articles that the Thursday Night NFL games are available in 4K. That’s very interesting and I’m wondering if the Super Bowl will be? That might be enough to get me to buy a 4K TV. — Cleve, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Cleve, the Super Bowl has never been in 4K. In fact, no NFL game had ever been available in 4K until September 26 of this year when DIRECTV, Optimum, Verizon and fuboTV aired the first contest (Packers vs. the Eagles) in the new picture format.
Fox, which has the broadcast rights to Thursday Night Football, has decided to produce the showcase games in 4K. (Fox also is offering a 4K stream of the Thursday games on its app, Fox Sports Go.)
So will this lead to a 4K broadcast of the 2020 Super Bowl, which will be played February 2 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami?
Fox has not commented yet, but I predict that it will offer the big game in 4K. The network is making a statement with its Thursday Night coverage that it plans to dramatically increase its 4K sports broadcasts, and the Super Bowl would be a great opportunity to put an exclamation point on that statement.
Until now, the networks were leery of offering the Super Bowl n 4K, even though they’ve used 4K cameras at the event. The technology has been uncertain, and it hasn’t been clear that a sufficient number of pay TV providers would offer the game in 4K even if it was available.
But now that Optimum, DIRECTV, Verizon, fuboTV are on board (and perhaps Dish will soon join the list after resolving its fee fight with Fox), Fox is assured that its 4K broadcast would be available to a sizable audience. (Comcast, which was expected to offer some Thursday Night games in 4K but has not yet, could also be a partner.)
I will monitor this situation and report back here if we can more information on Fox’s 4K plans for the 2020 Super Bowl.
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— Phillip Swann