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How to Watch NFL Games in 4K

Written by Derek Fleming

Last updated on

Most NFL games aren’t broadcast in 4K. For watching the handful of national games that are available in 4K on FOX, the three best options are YouTube TV 4K Plus, Fubo TV Elite, and the FOX Sports app.

Table of Contents
  1. Most NFL games are not available in 4K yet
  2. The FOX Sports app carries NFL football in 4K
  3. Watch 4K sports on the FOX Sports App
  4. Fubo Elite carries FOX and NBC in 4K
  5. YouTube TV 4K Plus add-on

Last season’s AFC Championship game was a wake up call for many NFL fans. Having just watch the earlier NFC Championship on FOX in ultra high resolution 4K, the late CBS game between the Bengals and Chiefs might as well have been in black and white by comparison. Which gets me to my first rule of NFL 4K streaming: CBS doesn’t carry any football games, either pro or college, in 4K.

As I have written previously, this is a big issue for Super Bowl LVIII, which CBS holds the rights to and which currently does not have a viable 4K option. So, that’s the bad news. This year’s Super Bowl might not be available at all in 4K. The good news is there are three streaming options that offer some 4K coverage, including one you might not be expecting.

Most NFL games are not available in 4K yet

While some of the biggest NFL games, like the playoffs and Super Bowl, are available in 4K, most regular season games aren’t carried in ultra high definition 4K. FOX is currently the only player for NFL 4K broadcasts.

4K NFL games

  • Super Bowl (FOX and NBC)
  • NFC Championship Game (FOX)
  • NFC Divisional and Wildcard Playoff Games (FOX)

No 4K yet

The FOX Sports app carries NFL football in 4K

Watching live sports on the FOX Sports app allows pay TV customers to convert a non-4K package into a 4K package with “TV Everywhere.”

If you just purchased a high end TV that supports 4K HDR streaming, have a look at the FOX sports app, which can be accessed via “TV Everywhere.” If you already pay for FOX through a streaming service, or with a cable provider like Spectrum or Xfinity, you can use the login information from your pay TV provider to login to the FOX Sports app to access live sports without cable, including 4K broadcasts.

FOX carries the NFL playoffs, as well as the Super Bowl (when they have the rights) in 4K. It’s less common for run of the mill 1pm and 4pm regional kickoffs to be broadcast in 4K.

Watch 4K sports on the FOX Sports App

With the major live TV streaming services, as well as with most cable TV providers, sports fans can login to the FOX Sports app to watch the World Series, college football, and marquee NFL games in 4K on supported devices. This is a particularly good option for cable TV subscribers who want to live stream sports in 4K without signing up for an expensive streaming service. Simply use your login credentials from your current provider to access the FOX Sports live stream on the FOX Sports app.

FOX Sports app login
Via “TV Everywhere” cable and streaming subscribers can access content on the FOX Sports app.

Fubo Elite carries FOX and NBC in 4K

Fubo is a great streaming service for watching college and pro football. I have subscribed on and off, and especially like picking my membership back up during football season, because of innovative features like Fubo Multiview, which are tailor made for football weekends.

Upgrading to Fubo Elite is required to access Fubo’s growing lineup of 4K sports programming, a full list of which can be found here.

The bottom line with watching the NFL on 4K with Fubo is the service goes toe to toe with YouTube TV’s 4K plus add-on, with the exception of ESPN, which currently isn’t offered in 4K on Fubo.

As a practical matter, this is more of an issue for college football than it is for NFL since Monday Night Football currently isn’t offered in 4K on ESPN.

YouTube TV 4K Plus add-on

I have used YouTube TV’s 4K Plus add-on extensively, in large part because, with the addition of ESPN, the app offers the largest selection of 4K channels. That, and the price has been lowered this year to just $4.99 per month for new users, which is a great deal.

All of the major games that are carried in 4K by FOX can be streamed on YouTube TV with the 4K plus add-on. The ability to stream ESPN in 4K on YouTube TV primarily benefits college football fans, especially conferences like the SEC and ACC which have exclusive deals with the network.

An interview with a YouTube executive at the Verge confirmed that NFL Sunday Ticket will not be offered in 4K.

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