By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –Follow on Facebook & X.
Former editor of 4 TV magazines.

TV Answer Man, do you know if YouTube shows the Sunday Ticket in 4K? Or is it high-def? And if it’s high-def, is it 720p HD or 1080i or 1080p HD? This is very important to me so please get back to me. — Dan, Atlanta.

Why YouTube Doesn’t Show the Sunday Ticket In 4K

Dan, that’s a great question. The NFL Sunday Ticket includes Sunday afternoon regular season games from CBS and Fox. Now, both Fox and CBS broadcast their games in HD, not 4K. So YouTube cannot show them in 4K unless it tried to upscale them which could cause more problems than it’s worth. However, there is some good news to report on what YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels does do with its Sunday Ticket feeds.

But the Sunday Ticket Feeds Look Sensational

The company says the game feeds come from broadcast centers in 1080p (both native and upscaled). While that isn’t 4K, it’s a marked improvement over what you would see on your local CBS and Fox stations. Fox affiliates broadcast live sports in 720p HD while CBS stations do 1080i HD. The 1080p HD picture is superior to both. If you have ever watched Apple’s MLB broadcasts in 1080p HD, you know how much better 1080p HD is. Some fans have mistaken the Apple feeds for 4K; that’s how good it is.

As a Sunday Ticket subscriber, I can testify that the 1080p HD game feeds look sensational.

YouTube also says it’s working with its NFL and TV partners to bring more 1080p — and 4K games — in the future. “We continue to invest in improved feeds and bitrate improvements. Many users with eligible 4K compatible devices that support VP9 codecs are now seeing higher quality 1080p content with more device coverage and improvements on the way this fall,” the streamer says. “Separately, NFL Sunday Ticket games will have distinct source feeds broadcast in 1080p (a mix of native and upscaled) compared to 720p local broadcasts. We’re working with our partners to bring more 1080p HDR and 4K games to you in the future.”

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

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The TV Answer Man is veteran journalist Phillip Swann who has covered the TV technology scene for more than three decades. He will report on the latest news and answer your questions regarding new devices and services that are changing the way you watch television. See the bio for Phillip Swann here.