Super Bowl LVI won’t be broadcast in 4K by this year’s network host NBC sports, according to a report in The Verge (opens in new tab).
Three networks – CBS, NBC and Fox – rotate Super Bowl coverage each season. In 2020, Fox called the play and streamed Super Bowl LIV in sharp 4K resolution (though it which was shot in 1080p and upscaled) marking a first for the history of the event. But it remains a one-off, with last year's host CBS citing "production limitations caused by the Covid-19 pandemic" as the reason behind its decision to downgrade.
There had been some hope that NBC might be in a position to extend its live 4K offering to this year’s game when it takes place on February 13th, given that some of its coverage from the Tokyo Olympics was in 4K/HDR with certain events even having Dolby Atmos sound. The network has also already confirmed that several games at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics will also be available in 4K.
However, like rivals CBS and ESPN, NBC doesn’t currently air any of its NFL games in 4K or HDR. The only service to do so is Fox, which began broadcasting select Thursday night fixtures in 4K and HDR in 2019. With the big game set to return to Fox in 2023, fans may not have to wait too long to view all the action in ultra high definition next year.
As you can imagine, broadcasting a global event such as the Super Bowl is no picnic. As the VP of video platforms at Fox put it, preparing one of the most streamed events in the world requires 'year-long engineering work'.
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