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Olympics Won’t Be Streamed in 4K on Peacock

Ben Bowman

The upcoming Tokyo Olympics may not even happen. But if they do, you won’t see them in 4K. Peacock doesn’t offer 4K streaming and appears to have no plans to develop it in the near future.

Peacock’s plan appears to be to throw more streaming Olympic studio shows at you and hope that makes up for less-than-optimal resolution.

It’s the latest stumble for a service that has made stumbling a regular occurrence.

Peacock was supposed to launch to the general public in tandem with the Olympics, but when the coronavirus derailed the games, Peacock launched with virtually no original programming. “The Office” provided a boost when it arrived from Netflix in January, but we’re approaching one year of the service and they still have nothing close to a breakout hit.

Peacock added the WWE library to its catalog last month, but fans were furious when WrestleMania rolled around and they couldn’t rewind the event or start watching from the beginning.

You also can’t use Peacock on a Fire TV device without sideloading it. It’s possible that the Olympics could break that stalemate, but it’s basically the only bargaining chip the service has until the NFL arrives in two years.

With such a high-profile event, you’d think Peacock would want to pull out all the stops to draw in new users. A lack of 4K might have been understandable if the service launched in tandem with the games, but Peacock has had a year to regroup and come up with something special to make a big splash when the games arrive. If their big idea is just to have more of the same linear-style TV maxing out at 1080p, you have to wonder why anyone would sign up for the service as opposed to going with any of the MVPDs that allow you to DVR the games.

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At this point, Peacock is nothing more than a TV Everywhere app with your standard NBC Shows and a few movies. As the Olympic torch creeps its way toward an uncertain event in Tokyo, it would be nice if Comcast lit a fire under the Peacock team.

Related: Should Peacock Just Give Up and Partner with Netflix?

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