TV Answer Man, I know DIRECTV had The Masters golf tournament in 4K and it looked beautiful. So will DIRECTV have the PGA tournament in 4K, too? — Tom, Syracuse.
Tom, DIRECTV last month aired The Masters Golf Tournament from Augusta, Georgia in 4K HDR, marking the seventh year that DIRECTV offered the tournament in 4K, and the fifth straight year in 4K HDR (High Dynamic Range).
But what about the PGA Championship, you ask. Will golf’s second major of the year be available on DIRECTV in 4K as well? (The PGA starts Thursday and runs through Sunday at the Southern Hills Championship Course in Tulsa, Oklahoma.)
A DIRECTV spokesman told the TV Answer Man last week that the answer is no. Before you blame DIRECTV, no one else will offer a 4K feed of the tournament. ESPN and CBS, which have the broadcast rights to the PGA Championship, are not doing the event in 4K. It will only be in HD on ESPN, the ESPN apps, and CBS.
This is an important point, one I probably should make more frequently here. Pay TV providers such as DIRECTV or YouTube TV can only provide a live sporting event, or any other program, in 4K if the network provides a 4K feed. And the networks don’t produce many of its event in 4K for a variety of reasons including cost, labor and equipment issues, and even local Covid health restrictions.
However, based on past performance, I suspect that the networks will offer 4K feeds of the third and fourth majors of the year, the U.S. Open in June and the British Open in July. And DIRECTV will likely have them in 4K.
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— Phillip Swann