TV Answer Man, YouTube TV charges $20 a month extra for 4K but it doesn’t have much in 4K. I would definitely pay for it and be happy about it but there’s so little in 4K that I don’t see the value. No NFL in 4K. No baseball. No hockey. It’s so little in 4K! YouTube TV is ripping us off! Why don’t they have more in 4K?! — Ernie, Pasadena, California. 

Ernie, YouTube TV, one of two multi-channel, live streaming services to offer 4K programming (FuboTV is the other), carries select sporting events from Fox Sports (NFL, MLB, NASCAR, college football and basketball) in 4K as well as English Premier League soccer matches, Notre Dame football games and Chicago White Sox baseball from NBC Sports, and college basketball and college football from ESPN.

The streamer is also the only pay TV provider (including DIRECTV) that offers the YouTube MLB Game of the Week in 4K.

However, considering the streamer’s 4K plan costs $20 a month in addition to the $64.99 base package, you would hope that it would have more than that, right?

That’s an understandable position, but YouTube TV, like any other provider, can only air a live sporting event in 4K if it’s offered in that format by the network that’s broadcasting it.

And to date, neither Fox nor CBS have ever produced a single NFL Sunday afternoon regular season game in 4K. NBC and ESPN have not done their primetime NFL games in 4K. Fox has done just one regular season MLB game this year in 4K. Horse Racing’s Triple Crown has never been in 4K. The NBA Finals have never been available in the format. There were no NHL games available in 4K last year…

…And so on and so on.

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The networks still see 4K as a niche product and therefore are reluctant to invest the extra money, manpower and equipment needed to do more 4K productions. That’s not YouTube TV’s fault. The streaming service does a good job of providing what’s available in 4K — in fact, I would say YouTube TV and DIRECTV are the 4K leaders in the pay TV industry. But it can’t get blood from a turnip, can it?

I can understand if you want to say YouTube TV should charge less for 4K programming. But I can’t agree if you blame them for the 4K omissions. They are at the mercy of the networks.

Ernie, hope that makes sense. Happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann