TV Answer Man, I know that ESPN didn’t have a 4K game last week. Is that permanent? Is there a 4K game this week? — Barry, Taos, New Mexico.
Connie, ESPN took some by surprise last week when it didn’t offer one college football game in 4K. The sports network promotes the 4K games as the ‘4K game of the week,’ but the TV Answer Man learned that it will actually do just eight games of the 18-week college football season in 4K.
But you will get a 4K game this Saturday (October 8), although you’ll have to stay up late to watch it. ESPN will broadcast the Oregon State-Stanford in ‘native 4K’ on participating pay TV services at 11 p.m. ET. The game will be simulcast in high-def on ESPN. Mark Jones, Robert Griffin III and Quint Kessenich will be on the call.
If you’re not familiar with the term, native 4K means that the game is produced in 4K on site as well as transmitted to the home in 4K. (In contrast, Fox produces a live sporting event in 1080p HD on site and then upscales it to 4K HDR for the home transmission. ESPN’s 4K games do not include HDR, also known as High Dynamic Range.)
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The ESPN 4K broadcast will be available on special 4K channels from select pay TV providers, including DIRECTV, Verizon, Comcast and YouTube TV. (Unlike Fox, ESPN does not provide a 4K stream on its app, ESPN+.)
ESPN’s ‘Matchup Predictor’ says Oregon State (3-2) has 57.7 percent chance of defeating the 1-3 Cardinals of Stanford.
In other 4K college football news, the Fox Sports app this Saturday will stream another college football doubleheader in 4K HDR. See this story for details. And NBC will do the Notre Dame-BYU game in 4K. See this story for details.
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— Phillip Swann