Will DIRECTV NFL Sunday Ticket be in 4K in 2019?

This is actually one of the most searched questions this time of year. There are a lot of people out there in DIRECTV-land who would love to watch 4K NFL football. So, this is going to come as a bitter pill to swallow.

There are no scheduled NFL games on DIRECTV yet.

Updated: AT&T will be broadcasting 11 Thursday Night Games in 4K

I know we were all hoping by 2019 that all the games would be in 4K. We’ve asked in the past why they aren’t. Unfortunately this year we’re not seeing any 4K Sunday games on the schedule. That may change in the coming weeks, though.

There’s a streaming service called “Fubo TV” that competes with AT&T TV Now. It’s a live TV streaming service that offers a lot of channels for a pretty expensive price. They say they will be streaming some Thursday games in 4K, but they’re falling all over themselves to label these “beta” broadcasts. In other words, if you’re spending $55 a month and you want to try to get your money back if the 4K doesn’t work… you won’t.

But that does lead me to believe that 4K is a possibility.

Why 4K NFL hasn’t happened yet

The reason that 4K hasn’t happened yet for NFL is really that their HD is so good. More than any other sport, the NFL has invested in fixed and robotic camera positions in HD. Your average NFL game has more camera positions than any other sport. Depending on the stadium, some of those cameras are actually 4K cameras. Instead of being used for true 4K though, the cameras are used for digital zoom to give a better view of the action.

NFL games also have more slow-motion cameras than any other sport. Some of those cameras are recording at 120 frames per second or more, constantly. Converting all those to 4K would be a fairly expensive process.

How 4K could happen

Fox Sports One and the NFL Network are doing their beta 4K with Fubo. I’m guessing they’ll have a few games, not too many, and they’ll use this to work the kinks out of the whole process before bringing it to a mass audience with DIRECTV. Again, I’m guessing here but I bet that stadiums have been building up to this point for years and now we’re just testing the distribution system.

Just like you I’m going to hope that we see some 4K NFL this year on DIRECTV. I doubt we’ll see the Super Bowl in 4K because of the commercials and the fact that the Super Bowl is on a broadcast network. But as for the regular season games I think there’s a good chance we’ll see some 4K on DIRECTV as the season winds on.

Plan for it now

If you’re already 4K-ready, great! If you’re not, you’ll need a new LNB for your dish, an HR54 or Genie 2 DVR,  and a 4K Genie Client. You’ll also need a 4K television made in the last few years so it’s fully compatible. Our Ultimate Guide will show you how to do it yourself, but if you don’t want to climb up on the roof, give us a call at 888-233-7563 and we can arrange for an installer to take care of everything.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.