TV Answer Man, I read on the forums that the Notre Dame and Purdue game will be in 4K tomorrow. Will Comcast have it in 4K? I know they have had Notre Dame games in the past in 4K? Right? — Bob, Miami.
Bob, you’re right. The Notre Dame-Purdue college football game tomorrow (Saturday, September 18) at 2:30 p.m. ET will be available in 4K. DIRECTV and YouTube TV have confirmed they will offer the game in 4K on special 4K channels. (NBC will simulcast the game in HD on NBC affiliates.)
But what about Comcast? The cable operator owns NBC, and as you note, has offered past Notre Dame home games in 4K.
Well, I asked a Comcast spokeswoman today via e-mail whether Comcast will show tomorrow’s Notre Dame-Purdue contest in 4K.
The answer: “No, we are not going to have this game in 4K.”
The response is surprising indeed, again noting that Comcast owns the very network that will broadcast the game in 4K, and has done all previous Notre Dame home games in the format. In fact, Comcast in 2019 even produced commercials boasting that its viewers can watch Notre Dame college football in 4K.
But for some reason, Comcast is not doing it this year, at least not yet. Also puzzling is why Comcast recently has not aired NBC Sports’ 4K broadcasts of English Premier League soccer matches, something it has done in the past.
Comcast this season is also not showing ESPN’s college football ‘4K Game of the Week’ in the format, again something it has done in the past. That change may be tied to Comcast’s ongoing negotiations with Disney (ESPN’s owner) for a new carriage agreement. But there’s no clear reason why Comcast wouldn’t offer NBC programming in 4K, particularly after the cable operator just offered NBC’s broadcast of the Summer Olympics in 4K.
I have asked Comcast for an explanation, but have not received a response as of 2:10 p.m. ET on Friday. If that changes, I will update this article here.
Until then, happy viewing, and stay safe!
Final note: Comcast will air two Fox-produced college football games in 4K tomorrow.
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— Phillip Swann