TV Answer Man, my cousin says he can watch the LA Dodgers in 4K with their local channel. But he lives in the Chicago suburbs. How is that possible? Wouldn’t the Dodgers games be blacked out in Chicago? He has DIRECTV installed on his roof. Can you explain this? — Khalil, Madison, Wisconsin. 

Khalil, it is possible, but not everyone can do it. Let me explain.

SportsNet LA, the regional TV home of the Los Angeles Dodgers, produces its home Dodgers broadcasts in 4K. DIRECTV, one of two major pay TV services that carries SportsNet LA, provides the 4K feed to its subscribers in the Los Angeles market. (Charter’s Spectrum TV, the other major SportsNet LA carrier, has never offered anything in 4K, including SportsNet LA which it manages as part of a 25-year deal with the Dodgers.)

However, DIRECTV also allows MLB Extra Innings subscribers outside the LA market to watch the 4K broadcast. The SportsNet LA game is part of DIRECTV’s Extra Innings package so both the HD and 4K feeds are available. (DIRECTV has the 4K feed on one of its special 4K channels which run from 104-106.)

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The satcaster also recently began carrying NESN’s 4K broadcasts of home Boston Red Sox games and Extra Innings subs outside the Boston market can watch them as well.

Unfortunately, DIRECTV is the only pay TV provider that is offering 4K game broadcasts to Extra Innings subscribers, but it’s a nice perk. The satellite TV service also provides Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets 4K feeds to out-of-market NBA League Pass subscribers.

Khalil, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann