By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, thanks for the update today on Fox’s 4K college football games! The 4K audience doesn’t get many news updates so we appreciate it. Now, speaking of 4K news updates, any word on when ESPN will begin the 4K Game of the Week for college football? Will it be next week, what they are calling week one of the season? Also, will the Notre Dame-Navy game be in 4K although it’s from Ireland? I know it’s a Notre Dame “home” game and they are in 4K but it’s Ireland, right? — Marcus, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Marcus, as you know, ESPN does a ‘4K Game of the Week’ during the college football and college basketball seasons. The 4K broadcasts last year were available on special 4K channels from select pay TV providers, including DIRECTV, Comcast, Optimum, Verizon and YouTube TV.

Unlike Fox, ESPN does not provide a 4K stream on its apps, ESPN or ESPN+. Also unlike Fox, ESPN does native 4K broadcasts, which means it’s broadcast on site in 4K as well as transmitted to the home in the format. (Fox upscales the on-site 1080p HDR, High Dynamic Range, broadcast to 4K HDR for the home transmission.) The native 4K broadcast requires more preparation and expense than the upscaled edition, which could be a reason why ESPN does one 4K game each week rather than Fox’s multiple 4K games per week.

While next week is considered the first week of the 2023 college football season, ESPN will not do a ‘4K Game of the Week.’ The sports network’s first 4K game this season will come in week two. We don’t know what the first 4K game will be yet, but we will post an update here when we do know.

As for Notre Dame, NBC does a 4K broadcast of every home game of the Fighting Irish during the college football season. And since Notre Dame’s contest this Saturday (2:30 p.m. ET) against Navy from Dubin, Ireland is considered a home game, it will be available in 4K. DIRECTV and YouTube TV last year were the only pay TV services to offer the Notre Dame games in the format and they will do so again this year. (Peacock, the NBC-owned streaming service, will not provide the game in 4K.)

Marcus, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann