TV Answer Man, I am confused. One friend tells me that DIRECTV won’t have the Olympics in 4K, but another friend says they will. Another friend tells me they will, but not like everyone else! I don’t see anything at their web site about it so I don’t know what the deal is? Do you? — Teena, Inglewood, California. 

Teena, I don’t blame you for being confused. DIRECTV will have the Olympics in 4K HDR (High Dynamic Range), but not in the same way that some of its pay TV rivals will. Let me explain.

First, NBC’s coverage of the 2022 Winter Olympics begins February 2 and runs until February 20. The network announced last week that it will offer a live 4K feed of the opening and closing ceremonies as well as a nightly three-hour primetime show. Let me repeat that: The primetime show and the ceremonies will be live in 4K, not on tape delay.

In addition, the following markets will get extended live coverage in 4K following the local NBC affiliate’s 11 p.m. newscast: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas-Ft. Worth, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Washington, DC (Hagerstown, MD), Boston (Manchester), Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, San Diego, and Hartford & New Haven.

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However, this is where it gets confusing.

Comcast has agreed to offer the live 4K Olympics in 38 markets; YouTube TV will carry it in 52 markets; Verizon in 15; Optimum in one (New York); and FuboTV in three: New York, Los Angeles and Boston. To see the markets for each provider, click here. 

But DIRECTV will not offer the live 4K feed in any market. Yes, DIRECTV, which arguably is the industry’s leading provider of 4K programming, particularly live 4K sports programming, will not carry the Olympics live in the format. The satcaster instead says it will show the 4K broadcasts on a 24-hour delay.

When asked by the TV Answer Man why It won’t provide the live 4K Olympics, a DIRECTV spokesman chose not to comment publicly.

NBC’s press release says DIRECTV (and Cox) would provide the delayed 4K feeds at 3 a.m. ET and 11 a.m. ET. But when asked about that, the DIRECTV spokesman repeated that it would be on a 24-hour delay. The 3 a.m. and 11 a.m. feeds would be a delay of four hours and 12 hours respectively.

So, Teena, DIRECTV will have the Olympics in 4K. However, you’ll need to keep a sharp eye on your on-screen guide for when it will air the format.

Final note: DIRECTV Stream will not carry the Olympics in 4K.

Hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann