It’s been a little over a year since Fox Sports grabbed the coveted Thursday Night Football broadcast rights from CBS and NBC, and now Fox has announced it will do something neither of those companies did when they had them: Make the weekly NFL matchup available in 4K UHD with HDR.
To see the games in this format, you’ll need the Fox Sports or Fox Now apps running on an Apple TV 4K, or on select Roku devices that are 4K-capable. However, if you’re a cable or satellite subscriber, you might be able to tune in on your existing set-top box: The 4K broadcast is available through Fox Sports distributors, including DirecTV, Altice Optimum, Comcast Xfinity, Verizon Fios, and TVision. Finally, if you’re a FuboTV subscriber, you can watch the coverage via that service too, as long as your chosen streaming device and screen can handle 4K and HDR.
Other options to watch these games include NFL digital properties, and on mobile via Yahoo Sports and other Verizon Media properties. Fox Thursday Night Football games will also be available to stream on Amazon via Prime Video and Twitch, in addition to NFL, Fox, and Fox Deportes digital properties across devices.
Interestingly, despite the fact that these games will be broadcast in 4K, it may not be quite as crisp as other 4K content you’ve watched in the past, like movies or TV shows. The press release on Fox Sports’ website says: “Technical specifications for the authenticated broadcast: Producing in 1080p/High Dynamic Range (HDR) and upconverting to 4K/HDR.” This means that even though the broadcast is in 4K, it won’t be captured using 4K gear. Instead, Fox Sports will be using broadcast-grade equipment to upconvert a Full HD (1080p) signal to 4K resolution. Still, the fact that these games will be shown in HDR will probably have a bigger impact on the quality of the image than the resolution, assuming you have an HDR TV. With HDR’s greater brightness, contrast, and color-accuracy, these games will be eye-catching.
The 4K broadcasts begin on September 26, with the Philadelphia Eagles at the Green Bay Packers.