TV Answer Man, I watched parts of a Fox college football game in 4K over the weekend and I was amazed at what I was seeing. The picture was so much better. Do you know if the NFL will have games in 4K this weekend or the Thursday night game? — Carlo, Easton, Maryland.
Carlo, the 2022 NFL season begins this Thursday night with the Buffalo Bills-Los Angeles Rams game at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. Then, on Sunday, everyone else plays with games on CBS and Fox, and the Dallas Cowboys-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game on NBC’s Sunday Night Football (also on Peacock) and the Denver Broncos-Seattle Seahawks contest the next night at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN and ABC.
In past seasons, CBS, NBC, ABC and ESPN have not produced any NFL games in 4K and there’s no indication that’s changing in 2022. Fox, however, has done Thursday Night Football regular season games in 4K as well as playoff contests and the 2020 Super Bowl.
But now that Fox no longer has the rights to TNF (Amazon takes over starting September 15), does that mean that the network won’t do any regular season games in 4K, either?
After checking in with a handful of industry sources, it appears that Fox will not do any games in 4K during week one. (The same goes for CBS, NBC, ABC/ESPN; still no 4K from them in week one.) I have not been able to determine if that means Fox won’t do any 4K after week one.
But considering that Fox has only done the national Thursday Night Football games in 4K during the regular season in past years, my educated guess is that we are not likely to see the network do any this year, too, except perhaps the Thanksgiving game. Fox is not likely to invest in the extra money and resources needed to do a 4K production of a regular season game, particularly one that might only be available regionally.
The TV Answer Man will continue to monitor this situation and report back here if anything changes. But for now, if you want football in 4K, you’ll have to watch college gridiron action on Fox and ESPN.
Carlo, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann