By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, you are the man on all things 4K so tell me if the Final Four will be in 4K. It’s CBS, a big network with lots of money, and the biggest games of the college basketball season so it has to be 4K, right. Please! — Jamal, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

Jamal, I almost decided not to write a story based on your letter, but I have received numerous reader e-mails in the last few weeks asking if March Madness was available in 4K. Although I’ve already written two stories explaining that CBS and the three Turner stations, TBS, TNT and truTV, decided NOT to do the games in 4K — again — the questions still come in.

I get it. March Madness, particularly an event like the Final Four, which begins tomorrow night on CBS at 6 p.m. ET, just seems like a guarantee for 4K. Afterall, the Super Bowl was in 4K. But March Madness’ Final Four won’t be in 4K and neither will Monday night’s men’s championship game at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.

As a reporter, the networks’ decision is not terribly surprising. CBS and Turner, which have had the TV rights to the men’s college basketball championship tournament for years, have only offered March Madness in 4K once, in 2019. CBS also chose not to produce the 2021 Super Bowl in 4K while Turner has not done any 4K except for the 2019 March Madness.

It is true that Fox produced this year’s Big East and Big 10 college basketball tournaments in 4K and ESPN did the ACC tournament final in the format. But both those networks are far more bullish on 4K than the networks doing the March Madness games.

Jamal, sorry to break the bad news to you. But happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann