TV Answer Man, I am a Comcast subscriber and a 4K TV owner. We haven’t had the ESPN games in 4K on Comcast for several months. Do you know if the new deal with Disney will put the games back on Comcast in 4K? — Carl, Bowie, Maryland. 

Carl, Comcast and Disney this week announced they have signed a new multi-year carriage pact that will keep the Disney-owned channels in the cable operator’s lineup. The Disney channels include ESPN’s suite of networks and many others. (Comcast will also add the Disney-owned ACC Network in the “coming weeks,” the companies said.)

The news has prompted several reader e-mails (such as yours) inquiring whether the new agreement will allow Comcast to again offer ESPN’s live 4K sporting events in 4K. The sports network provides select college football and basketball games in 4K. But without explanation, the cable operator stopped showing them last spring.

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Many Comcast subscribers have posted comments on social media sites that their provider must have lost the rights to the 4K games. However, they speculated that Comcast could regain the rights in a new carriage deal that was expected to be signed late this year.

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So now that the new agreement is official, will Comcast once again show ESPN in 4K? (The next scheduled ESPN event in 4K is the national college football championship game on January 10, 2022.)

I asked a Comcast spokesperson yesterday and here’s her response.

“Comcast…will have the rights to certain 4K content moving forward but hasn’t confirmed which events.”

That’s certainly good news for 4K enthusiasts who subscribe to the nation’s largest cable operator. While Comcast isn’t yet confirming that it will show next month’s championship game in 4K, it is saying that it now has the rights to ESPN’s 4K games. And that likely means it will offer most (if not all) ESPN 4K games in the format, as it did in previous years. That’s not a guarantee, but it appears the new agreement will re-open the door to 4K.

The TV Answer Man will continue to monitor this situation and report back here when we get a confirmation of which ESPN games Comcast will provide in 4K.

Until then, happy viewing, and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann