Super Bowl Streamers Should Expect Delay Compared to Cable

Cord-cutters may want to turn off the notifications on their phones to avoid spoilers

Super Bowl Streamers Should Expect Delay Compared to Cable
An aerial view of Raymond James Stadium ahead of Super Bowl LV.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Though there is always a broadcast delay of about five seconds between on-the-field action and the transmission to traditional TV providers like cable or satellite, that delay is expected to be much more significant for cord-cutters who will be streaming this year’s Super Bowl.

According to CNet, when CBS last aired the Super Bowl in 2019 the CBS Sports app had a lag of about 28 seconds. Other viewing options, such as, YouTube TV,, were behind by more than 30 seconds, and CBS All Access and Yahoo Sports each had a delay of more than 46 seconds. 

“At issue isn’t necessarily the internet speeds themselves but latency, the time it takes to transfer what’s happening in the real world back to your screen over the internet,” CNet reports. “In the past, some streamers have also tacked on a few seconds to ensure a clear picture and smooth experience rather than have you see pauses and buffering on your end.”

Given that reality, cord-cutters may want to turn off notifications on their phones during Sunday evening’s game to avoid spoilers.

If you are planning to stream Super Bowl LV, it will be available for free on, the CBS Sports app and the NFL, Yahoo Sports app. The broadcast is set to start at 6:30 p.m. on CBS, though kickoff will likely be a good deal later than that.

In general, connected TV platforms such as Roku are preparing for what they anticipate will be “the most-streamed TV event to date,” in the words of Amazon Fire TV’s vice president Sandeep Gupta, Ad Week reports.

Will Sunday’s game draw a massive audience like usual and live up to the hype?

CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus certainly hopes so. “America needs this Super Bowl,” he recently told reporters.

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