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Streaming Super Bowl 2024? Expect more delay than play

We recommend avoiding social media during the Super Bowl so you don’t get spoilered.

nfl plus logo on smartphone
Image: NFL

The Super Bowl will be at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. It will be the first Super Bowl at the stadium, creating an exciting atmosphere for Super Bowl 58.

That said, streams of Super Bowl 2024 will likely lag behind the picture shown on network TV.

Expect a base five-second delay if you’re watching on cable TV. Live TV always has a built-in delay to censor anything that shouldn’t be shown in its timeslot.

If you upgrade your streaming subscription or get a new smart TV to watch the big game, you might be disappointed that the delay will likely be over 50 seconds, regardless of the streaming service.

Check out the graph created by Phenix below that shows average lag times for last year’s Super Bowl.

They might have a vested interest in making other solutions look bad, as they’re a company that builds the infrastructure for real-time video and sports betting. However, the data still looks damning for streaming companies.

Super Bowl 58 will have a similar stream lag to previous years

graph created by phenix showing the average lag streaming services are behind the super bowl action in
Image: Phenix

Streaming lag is a big issue for real-time events like the Super Bowl, with every streaming service delayed behind the action.

The streaming services for Hulu with Live TV, Fubo TV, YouTube TV, and even the NFL’s app lag over 50 seconds behind broadcast.

FOX Sports was faster at just under 24 seconds, as they were the network responsible for broadcasting the Super Bowl in 2023, giving them a heads-up over the competition.

Phenix also showed that even with the same streaming provider, the delay could be even higher, over 130 seconds in some cases.

That’s an eternity in NFL terms, where the average time per play is just under 11 seconds.

Your internet connection doesn’t cause that delay, so upgrading your speed before you stream the Super Bowl won’t make a difference.

The latency is caused by the time the streaming service takes to record live images, encode them, and send them to your device.

Streaming services often add designed latency to ensure a clear picture, especially if you’re streaming at 4K.

Maybe stay off social media for the big game

someone using a remote on the tv for browsing shows
Image: Unsplash

If you avoid social media during the big game, you might not notice the delay. The sports fans most affected are those who like to bet on sporting events.

Anyone who wants to micro-bet on specific plays will not want to stream the Super Bowl this year. Your cable feed will even be delayed anywhere between “7 and 15 seconds.”

This season, the streaming delay has been terrible, leading us to get spoiled by so many plays on social media posts. This year, CBS is responsible; hopefully, the delay won’t be extended any longer.

The upshot? For 2024, cable TV still reigns supreme (at least for sports fans).

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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