TV Answer Man, I loved watching the Tampa Bay and Philadelphia game in 4K. Do you know if the Green Bay-San Francisco game this weekend will be in 4K, too? I would think Fox would do that game in 4K since it’s such a big one. — Ron, Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Ron, you’re right. Fox last Sunday offered a 4K feed of the Tamps Bay Buccaneers-Philadelphia Eagles wild card game from Tampa Bay. The network has been arguably the leading supporter of live 4K sports, offering a 4K version of NFL Thursday Night Football games as well as numerous college football and basketball games and NASCAR races. (The 4K feeds have been available on the Fox Sports app and special 4K channels carried by pay TV providers such as DIRECTV, Comcast and YouTube TV, among others.)
So, will Fox continue its bullish stance on 4K this weekend with the Saturday night broadcast of the Green Bay Packers-San Francisco 49ers NFC playoff game? It would seem like a perfect candidate for a 4K showcase, right?
Wrong. While Fox isn’t commenting officially yet, two industry sources who have knowledge of the situation say the network does not plan to broadcast the Packers-49ers game in 4K.
I am not too surprised by this decision. Fox last season did one wild card game in 4K, but then didn’t do another playoff game in the format. For reasons unknown, the network apparently either doesn’t have the rights or inclination to offer more than one playoff game in 4K.
Before you point a finger of blame at Fox, remember that it’s still the only network that has ever done a Super Bowl in 4K. (In 2020). NBC this year has confirmed to the TV Answer Man that it will not show the big game in 4K, following CBS’ decision last year to forgo a 4K feed as well.
The 49ers-Packers game, which starts at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, will still be available in HD on the Fox Sports app as well as Fox network affiliates. But apparently not 4K. If there’s any indication that could change, you’ll hear about it here.
Ron, hope that makes sense. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann