TV Answer Man, I am excited for the NBA playoffs since I am a Celtics fan. Do you know if any of the playoff games will be in 4K? — Mick, Boston.
Mick, the 2022 NBA Playoffs are underway with your Boston Celtics facing the Brooklyn Nets in one of eight first round matchups. The championship series will begin June 2 and could end as late as June 19 if the series goes to seven games.
So will any of the 2022 playoff games be available in 4K, you ask?
The answer is yes and no. Let me explain.
DIRECTV will air tomorrow night’s game three of the Golden State Warriors-Denver Nuggets series in 4K in the Denver market. The satcaster carries Altitude Sports, which will produce the game in 4K. However, other 4K TV providers in the Denver market such as FuboTV, YouTube TV and Comcast do not carry Altitude so they do not have the rights to Altitude’s 4K or HD feeds.
However, you’ll still be able to see the game. TNT will offer its HD broadcast of the game nationally.
(If you were thinking that you could watch the 4K feed on DIRECTV if you’re a NBA League Pass subscriber, think again. League Pass does not stream playoff games, just regular season games.)
And speaking of TNT, the Turner-owned network, ABC, ESPN and NBA TV are all broadcasting 2022 playoff games to the national audience. But it appears highly unlikely that they will do any games in 4K. (None are scheduled as of today.) I’ve asked the networks’ PR reps (multiple times) if there will be any games in 4K, but they have not responded to my e-mails. That’s not a good sign.
Also: TNT, ESPN and ABC have never done a single NBA game in 4K, regular season or playoffs so it would be a stunner if they suddenly did one now. NBA TV has offered some regular season contests in 4K, but they were feeds from regional sports channels such as Altitude and Spectrum SportsNet (Los Angeles Lakers). The Lakers are not in the playoffs and, well, we already discussed the Altitude situation. Not much hope there, either.
Update: An ESPN spokesperson told the TV Answer Man this morning that a decision on 4K playoff games is still ‘TBD’ (to be determined.)
The TV Answer Man will monitor this situation and report back here if anything changes. But as of now, if you want the playoffs in 4K, get a DIRECTV dish and move to Denver.
Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann