ESPN teams with Samsung to air NCAA football in native 4K

Saturday's broadcast is the first of six NCAA football games that ESPN will show in 4K. (ESPN/Samsung)

ESPN, with some help from Samsung, is finally getting into live 4K production beginning with Saturday’s NCAA football matchup between the University of Florida and Louisiana State University.

The game – billed as the “Samsung QLED 4K Game of the Week” – is the first of six college games and a feed that will be part of the presentation of the College Football Playoff National Championship Game that ESPN will air in native 4K this season. The games are showing on DirecTV channel 107.9at and will require 4K HDR compatible equipment as well as the right channel package.

ESPN said this will be its first time airing “fully produced live, native 4K sports programming.” Samsung will serve as production collaborator and presenting sponsor.

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“After months of planning and technical testing, we are excited sports fans can watch 4K UHD College Football games as part of the Samsung QLED 4K Game of the Week,” said Jodi Markley, executive vice president of ESPN’s content operations and creative services, in a statement.  “As 4K technical resources and workflows become more readily available, we will continue to grow this standard across our operations. 4K images are stunning and we look forward to sharing them with fans.”

“This is why teaming up with ESPN for the Samsung QLED 4K Game of the Week is such a pivotal point for the TV industry. Being able to experience true, native 4K college football games live on ESPN for the first time ever is a game changer. With a variety of super large screen size options, stunning picture quality, dazzling colors and ultra-wide viewing angles, Samsung QLED TVs allow fans to enjoy 4K college football action like they’re actually at the game with their friends from the comfort of their homes,” said Grace Dolan, vice president of marketing for home entertainment at Samsung Electronics America, in a statement.