Fox last year became the first network to offer the Super Bowl in 4K, but CBS said today that it will not show this year’s NFL championship game in the picture format.

Asked today by the TV Answer Man to confirm it would not air next month’s Super Bowl in 4K, CBS spokesman Walt Scher said via e-mail:

“That is correct, we will not be doing a 4K broadcast,” he said.

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Scher did not provide an explanation. However, CBS has yet to broadcast any NFL game in 4K, unlike Fox which produced several Thursday Night games in 4K prior to the airing of Super Bowl 2020 in 4K last February. CBS has broadcast select holes of The Masters golf tournament in 4K via its pay TV partner, DIRECTV, but doing a 4K broadcast of the world’s most watched sporting event is another matter.

In addition, the ongoing concerns over the Coronavirus pandemic could have contributed to the network’s decision, although every 2020-21 NFL playoff game thus far has been played without cancellation or postponement.

The TV Answer Man asked Scher in mid-December if CBS would show the game in 4K. At the time, he said the network had yet to announce its broadcast plans for the game. But today, CBS announced that it would be available via streaming on multiple services and devices. After that announcement, which did not include any reference to a 4K broadcast, the TV Answer Man asked Scher for an update and he confirmed there would be no 4K coverage

The network’s decision is another blow for 4K TV owners who continue to clamor for more programming in the format. By example, Fox, which broadcast the Rams-Seahawks wild card playoff game in 4K this month, did not offer last Sunday’s Bucs-Saints game in the format

Fox has also not responded to our inquiries regarding whether this Sunday’s NFC championship game between Tampa Bay and Green Bay will be available in 4K. Thus far, Fox’s pay TV partners, such as Comcast and DIRECTV, have not posted programming notice that it will be in 4K, which would suggest it won’t be.

The Super Bowl will be played February 7, 2021 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. The winner of the Bucs-Packers game will meet the winner of the Chiefs-Bills game.

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— Phillip Swann