Well, it looks like you won’t need a new TV this year! Super Bowl LV won’t be available to stream in 4K HDR due to COVID-related production limitations. The game, which airs February 7th, will instead stream in 1080p (for free) through CBS Sports and NFL streaming apps.
In a conversation with The Verge, CBS confirmed that the 2021 Super Bowl will stream in 1080p to avoid issues with lag or stability. CBS has never streamed an NFL game in 4K HDR, and the broadcaster’s use of remote operations during COVID-19 makes managing a high-bandwidth stream difficult.
Last year was the first (and only) time that the Super Bowl streamed in 4K HDR. But that stream was broadcast by Fox Sports, which began offering 4K games in 2019. It’s also worth nothing that, while the 2020 Super Bowl aired in 4K HDR, the actual game was shot in 1080p HDR and upscaled for the broadcast.
CBS says that, despite the lack of 4K and HDR, it plans to keep the Super Bowl LV stream as reliable and lag-free as possible. You can tune in on the CBS channel February 7th, or stream the game in glorious 1080p through CBS Sports and NFL streaming apps.