TV Answer Man, I love 4K and wish that all shows and sports were in 4K. My question is if the Kentucky Derby will be in 4K. The horses and Churchill Downs would look great in 4K so I am hoping it will. Let us know!! — Madeline, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Madeline, NBC Sports has the rights to this year’s Kentucky Derby which will take place this Saturday (May 7) at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. The network, and its streaming service, Peacock, are planning a five-hour simulcast with coverage starting at 2:30 p.m. ET. The race itself is expected to begin at 6:57 p.m. ET.
In addition, the NBC-owned USA Network on Friday will air that day’s races at Churchill Downs starting at 1 p.m. ET. And on Saturday, USA will broadcast some early race action starting at noon ET. NBC says it will televise 15 live races from Churchill Downs over the two days.
With all that coverage, you would think that NBC would kick in and provide it in 4K as well, right?
Once again, the Kentucky Derby will not be available in 4K. In fact, the race has never been available in 4K.
It will be high-def, but not Ultra high-def (4K).
By now, this should not surprise 4K enthusiasts. While the networks (particularly Fox) offer some sporting events in 4K, the overwhelming majority are still not available in the format due to a variety of reasons including cost, Covid concerns and equipment issues. By example, the Super Bowl and March Madness have only been in 4K once each while the NBA Finals have never been in 4K. CBS has never done a single NFL game in 4K nor has NBC, ABC or ESPN.
We can only hope that as more people buy 4K TVs, the networks will change their ways.
Madeline, wish I had better news. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann