Q. TV Answer Man, I am one of the lucky DIRECTV subscribers who got the e-mail saying I will get the Sunday Ticket for free this season. My question is: Will the games be available in 4K? I have a 4K TV and the Genie set-top so I can watch DIRECTV in 4K. It seems like DIRECTV would have them in 4K. It would help their subscriptions. — Ken, Toledo, Ohio.
Ken, congratulations on getting the NFL Sunday Ticket for free. As you probably know, DIRECTV this season is providing the Max edition of the Sunday Ticket for free to some existing subscribers as well as all new customers who get the Choice plan and above. The base Ticket plan is normally $293 for the entire season while the Max package is $395.
Now to your question: The Sunday Ticket games are not available in 4K, only high-def. This is not DIRECTV’s fault, however. The satcaster can only air a live sporting event in 4K if it’s offered in that format by the network that is broadcasting it. And to date, neither Fox or CBS have ever produced a single NFL Sunday afternoon game in 4K. (The Sunday Ticket package only includes out-of-market Sunday afternoon games broadcast by CBS and Fox.)
However, the good news is that Fox in 2019 began broadcasting some Thursday Night Football contests in 4K. The first game in 4K this season will be the Rams-Seahawks matchup on October 7 at 8 p.m. ET, which will be followed by 10 more games later in the season. DIRECTV has not confirmed yet it will offer the games in 4K, but it’s highly likely. The satcaster has offered the last two seasons’ Thursday Night games in 4K.
(Note: The Fox 4K broadcasts will also be available to non-DIRECTV subscribers on the Fox Sports app with TV Everywhere credentials, and on special 4K channels on various pay TV providers.)
Ken, hope that helps. Happy viewing, and stay safe!
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann