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

TV Answer Man, do you know which TV services will have the college football championship game in 4K? — Tony, Las Vegas.

Tony, ESPN will offer a 4K feed of college football’s championship game between Washington and Michigan. The game, which will be played on Monday, January 8, at 7:30 p.m. ET, will be available in Skycam 4K, which is a single camera system suspended over the field and controlled by a computer. The regular broadcast, which includes multiple cameras, will air on ESPN in high-def.

The sports network says the following TV providers will offer the game in 4K on special 4K channels: Comcast, DIRECTV, DIRECTV Stream, Dish Network, Optimum, Sling TV, Verizon and YouTube TV. (ESPN does not offer 4K programming on the ESPN app or ESPN+ so the only way to watch the game in 4K will be on one of those services.)

Note that Sling TV has never offered anything in 4K so we have asked the Dish-owned live streamer for a comment. Perhaps the Michigan-Washington game will mark its 4K debut.

It’s unclear whether the Skycam 4K will be ‘native 4K’ or upscaled 4K. The ‘native 4K’ broadcast would be produced and aired in 4K rather than ‘upconverted’ from HD to the format. The upscaled 4K would mean that the game was produced in 1080p HD on site and upgraded to 4K for the home transmission. ESPN did some 2023 college football regular season games in upscaled 4K after offering games in native 4K in previous seasons.

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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.