State of the Union on UHD Live Sports Streaming in the US

By Thierry Fautier, Managing Director, Your Media Transformation, former President of the Ultra HD Forum.


In the year 2024, as we prepare for the Paris Olympics, which will be produced entirely in UHD HDR for the first time, I want to provide updates on the current state of live sports streaming in UHD format, focusing on the US market, where we see the most vibrant activity. We will review the top OTT services, including:

  • Amazon Prime with NFL Thursday Ticket
  • Apple TV+ with MLB and MLS
  • Fox Sports (FIFA World Cup, College football, MLB, NFL)
  • Peacock with EPL (English Premiere’s League)
  • Peacock UHD HDR streaming of Sunday Night Football
  • Max with NBA games
  • Paramount+ with the European Champions’ League
  • NBA League Pass on
  • NFL Game Pass
Logos Tf V3

 As well as vMVPD services carrying sports content:

  • YouTube TV
  • FuboTV

The Data

According to the Ultra HD Forum, UHD video can be either 2160p in SDR/HDR or 1080p in HDR. Here, we will focus solely on the HDR aspects of OTT live sports streaming services. We will also examine which services have deployed low latency, another crucial aspect of user experience. Below is a table showing the attributes of the OTT services mentioned above:

ServiceSportLeagueResolutionHDRUHDLow Latency
MaxBasketballNBA1080p60Dolby VisionYesNo
PeacockSunday Night Football NFL2160p60HDR10Yes No
PeacockKentucky DerbyNA1080p60HDR10Yes 
Amazon PrimeFootballNFL1080p60HDR10YesYes (1)
Fox SportsSoccerFIFA2160p60HDR10YesNo
Fox SportsBaseballMLB2160p60HDR10YesNo
Fox SportsCollege FootballPAC122160p60HDR10YesNo
Fox SportsSuper Bowl KV111NFL2160p60HDR10YesNo
Fox SportsFootballNFL2160p60HDR10YesNo
Paramount+Super Bowl LVIIINFL1080p60HDR10YesNo
Paramount+Soccer (Champions League)UEFA1080p60SDR (2)NoNo
Apple TV+Baseball, SoccerMLB, MLS1080p60SDRNoNo

(1) Using Sye UDP protocol
(2) not to be mixed with the production of the final, which was in 1080p HDR outside the US.

The table below shows what content the listed vMVPD services are streaming when provided to them in UHD format:

ServiceSportLeagueVideo ResolutionHDRUHDLow Latency
YouTube TVSuper Bowl LVIIINFL2160p60HDR10YesNo
Football Sunday TicketNFL1080p60SDRNoNo
FuboTVSuper Bowl LVIIINFL2160p60HDR10YesNo


Here are my observations on the selected Sports OTT services:

  • Five services offer episodic UHD 4K HDR streaming services: Peacock for Sunday Night Football, Fox Sports with NFL, MLB, FIFA WC, Super Bowl LVII  and College football.  
  • Two services offer episodic UHD 1080p HDR streaming services: MAX with Dolby Vision for basketball and Amazon Prime with Thursday Night Football (in low latency).
  • Two services offer UHD 1080p HDR streaming services, Paramount+ for Super Bowl LVIII and Peacock for Kentucky Derby. 
  • All other services, unfortunately, stream in 1080p SDR and are thus not in UHD.
  • There’s more variety in vMVPD services. For instance, YouTube TV follows the source format, streaming NFL Sunday Ticket in 1080p SDR but streaming the Super Bowl in 2160p HDR. FuboTV tends to distribute in 2160p for special and regular events, reflecting its brand positioning. An interesting finding regarding the EPL is that it is available in both HD (1080p SDR) and UHD (2160p HDR). Peacock opts for HD, while FuboTV chooses UHD.
  • Regarding latency, only Amazon Prime streams in low latency using its Sye proprietary UDP protocol. Other services have not yet deployed low latency, for which we expect to use CMAF LL with HLS/DASH.

HDR Analytics

  • Based on the total amount of services (19), we have calculated the share of the different HDR formats in this market segment.
Hdr Split Tf
  • HDR10 is the first format deployed with 63%, followed by SDR (32%), and Dolby Vision deployed only at 1 operator gets 5%.
  • Of course, we would like to see more HDR, but as a reference, during the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, across all delivery networks that included streaming, HDR was deployed only at 32% of services, so the US situation is way better comparatively.  

Resolution Analytics

It is also important to measure the resolution used: 1080p vs 2160.

Tf Pict2 Reolution Analytics

We see that 2160p60 HDR is deployed at 43%, and there is no 2160p60 SDR, which is good as it does not offer much compared to 1080p HDR. 21% of services are in 1080p60 HDR, meaning the UHD ratio is 78%, and 32% are still in legacy HD.

The Ultra HD Forum Members’ Contribution

Max (part of WBD) was previously part of AT&T and was an early member of the Ultra HD Forum.

FOX has been a member of the Ultra HD Forum for several years.

NBC (Peacock) is a founding member of the Ultra HD Forum.

Amazon became a member in 2023.

The encoding companies powering deployments at Max, Peacock, and Amazon Prime are also members of the Ultra HD Forum. Thus, a correlation exists between being an Ultra HD Forum member and a UHD space leader.


It’s encouraging to see that for some major events like Super Bowl LVII & LVIII, Kentucky Derby, and FIFA WC’22, and we see a similar pattern for the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics, UHD is being streamed in either 2160p60 HDR or 1080p60 HDR

Seeing regular events streamed in 4K HDR (Peacock NFL, Fox Sports NFL, MLB, College Football) or 1080p HDR (MAX basketball, Amazon Prime TNF) is even more encouraging.

Low latency has not been deployed outside Amazon Prime yet, but we expect changes, especially for content not exclusive to OTT platforms.

The next stop on the international ground will be the French Open, broadcast in 2160p HDR over DTT by France TV. Streaming is expected to stay in 1080p SDR as in previous years, with a UHD announcement on the streaming side from Amazon Prime, which shares the rights.

The next big event will be the Paris Olympics, during which many 2160p HDR streaming services should flourish. Stay tuned!

Ultra HD Forum

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