NBC confirmed today that it will offer next month’s Winter Olympics from Beijing, China in 4K HDR (High Dynamic Range). The 4K HDR coverage will include the Opening and Closing Ceremony (live) and each night’s live NBC primetime show which includes recorded events.
The network said the sports featured in the primetime show will include figure skating, alpine skiing, snowboarding, and freestyle skiing, among others. The 4K broadcast will also include Dolby Atmos which can enhance the audio experience with overhead sounds.
TV providers that will provide the live 4K feed include Comcast, Altice (Optimum), FuboTV, Verizon and YouTube TV. However, Altice will only offer the live 4K broadcasts in New York while FuboTV will provide them in just three cities: New York, Los Angeles and Boston.
Comcast will offer the live 4K Olympics in 38 markets as will Verizon in 10 markets. (Both providers require 4K-enabled set-tops.) YouTube TV will offer the live 4K feed in 52 markets to any subscriber who has subscribed to the streamer’s $20-a-month add-on 4K plan. (New users can get the plan as a one-month free trial and then a price of $9.99 a month for one year.)
The biggest omission on the list of providers for live 4K coverage is DIRECTV which has longed boasted that it’s a leader in both live sports coverage and 4K. The TV Answer Man has asked DIRECTV for a comment and will report back here if we receive one.
DIRECTV is on the list of providers that will offer a repeat of each evening’s 4K NBC Primetime show at 3 a.m. ET and 11 a.m. ET. The providers offering the 4K repeats also includes Cox in addition to Altice, Comcast, Verizon, and YouTube TV. FuboTV is not on that list.
Update: A DIRECTV spokesman tells the TV Answer Man that the satcaster will air the delayed 4K feed 24 hours after it originally aired live in select markets on Altice, Comcast, Verizon, YouTube and FuboTV. Asked if that meant DIRECTV would not show the delayed 4K feed at 3 a.m. ET and 11 a.m. ET the next day, as indicated in the NBC press release, the spokesman said “it will be 24 hours later.” He had no comment on why DIRECTV will not offer the live 4K feed that will be available in the select markets on Comcast, Verizon, YouTube TV, Altice and FuboTV.
The network’s coverage of the Winter Olympics will run from February 2 through February 20. Multiple NBC-owned channels including network affiliates, CNBC, and the USA Network, will offer both live and delayed events in high-def. Peacock, the network’s streaming service, will be the home of every single event totaling more than 2,800 hours of coverage. (Note: Peacock, which has never offered programming in 4K, will also not have the Olympics in 4K. There also will not be a 4K stream on any other NBC app. The only way to watch the Olympics live in 4K is via one of the providers listed below. And DIRECTV and Cox will have the delayed 4K show.)
Below is a list of the providers and markets where they will offer the live 4K feeds:
To see the complete 4K schedule, click here.
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