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CBS Sports to limit Super Bowl 4K video feed to pay TV subscribers

If you don't have cable, satellite or a streaming cable-like service, you won't get the best-possible resolution for the biggest game of the year.

If you don't have cable, satellite or a streaming cable-like service, you won't get the best-possible resolution for the biggest game of the year.

Allegiant Stadium, the home of the Las Vegas Raiders football team and the host of Super Bowl LVIII in 2024.
Allegiant Stadium, the home of the Las Vegas Raiders football team and the host of Super Bowl LVIII in 2024. (Photo by Matthew Keys for The Desk)

Want to watch the upcoming Super Bowl in the best resolution possible? Be prepared to shell out some cash for that perk.

This week, Paramount Global said it will offer two improved feeds of Super Bowl LVIII, including an ultra-high definition (UHD/4K) feed, when the game is played on Sunday, February 11.

The UHD/4K feed — which will be up-converted from high definition — will only be offered to cable and satellite companies, as well as some cable-like streaming services that carry local CBS stations and affiliates, Paramount said in a statement.

Fubo and YouTube TV are likely to be among the few streaming services that will offer the UHD/4K video feed of the Super Bowl, as both services have offered UHD/4K versions of live sports events in the past.

YouTube TV costs $73 per month for its base package that includes CBS, but the company charges an extra $10 per month if subscribers want access to UHD/4K streams. Fubo relegates UHD/4K access to its “Elite” programming tier, which costs $90 per month plus taxes and fees.

Cable and satellite customers who want access to the Super Bowl in UHD/4K might have fewer options. So far, DirecTV is the only major pay television provider to affirm it will carry a UHD/4K video feed of the Super Bowl this year. DirecTV via Internet and DirecTV via Satellite customers can find Super Bowl LVIII in 4K on Channel 105.

Streamers who don’t have a pay television plan will still be able to watch Super Bowl LVIII online through Paramount Plus, the CBS-owned streaming service that offers online access to National Football League (NFL) games throughout the season.

While Paramount Plus is not offering a UHD/4K video feed of Super Bowl LVIII, it will be offering an enhanced high definition version of the game: Streamers who watch Super Bowl LVIII through Paramount Plus will have access to a 1080p High Dynamic Range (HDR) feed, which will offer better resolution compared to traditional cable, satellite and over-the-air television.

In addition to the game itself, Paramount says CBS will offer the Super Bowl halftime show, pre-game and post-game coverage in 1080p HDR via streaming, and in UHD/4K on cable, satellite and cable-like streaming platforms as well.

Cord-cutters who don’t want to bother with any of that can still watch the game for free through their local CBS station or affiliate. In most places, CBS stations and affiliates can be received with an over-the-air antenna.

Super Bowl LVIII kicks off from Las Vegas on Sunday, February 11 at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time (3:30 p.m. Pacific Time).

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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