TV Answer Man, I’ve read your article about Fox doing NASCAR and USFL in 4K. But what about baseball? When will they do some games in 4K? — Jack, Dallas.
Jack, you’re right. Fox Sports this spring has been steadily pumping out 4K broadcasts of USFL games and NASCAR races but has not done a single Major League Baseball game in 4K during the 2022 season.
This may seem surprising considering that Fox has been bullish on 4K, albeit of the upscaled variety. (Fox does the production on site in 1080p HDR, High Dynamic Range, and upscales it to 4K HDR for the home transmission. While the picture may lack the detail of a pure 4K production, it’s usually still a noticeable improvement over the usual high-def display.)
However, Fox does not have a single MLB regular season game scheduled for 4K until August 11 when the network will show the ‘Field of Dreams’ game between the Reds and Cubs in the format. Fox says it will also do the 2022 MLB All-Star Game on July 19 in 4K.
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Before you think that Fox is retreating from 4K, this is exactly what the network did last year. Fox provided the All-Star Game and Field of Dreams game in 4K, but nothing else during the 2021 regular season. In the 2021 post-season, the network offered the American League Division Series and American League Championship Series in 4K as well as the World Series in the format.
Over the years, Fox has been consistent in what it does in 4K and what it doesn’t. In 2020 and 2021, for instance, Fox did just one NFL playoff game in 4K in each season, although it broadcast several Thursday Night Football regular season games in 4K. The network has never explained the whys behind what seems like peculiar and arbitrary decisions, but it is what it is.
If Fox changes course, the TV Answer Man will report back here with updates. But for now, I suspect you’ll have to wait until July before watching baseball in 4K on Fox.
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— Phillip Swann