Your Super Bowl stream will have a delay


This year, the Super Bowl is coming to you from State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. It will be the third Super Bowl at the stadium, creating an exciting atmosphere for Super Bowl 57.

That said, streams of Super Bowl 2023 will likely lag behind the picture shown on network TV.

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

If you’re upgrading your streaming subscription 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 below, created by Phenix, 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, but the data still looks damning for streaming companies.

superbowl 2022 streaming latency
Image: Phenix

The streaming services for CBS Sports, HuluTV, Yahoo Sports, Fubo TV, YouTube TV, and even the NFL’s own app all lag over 50 seconds behind broadcast.

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.

It’s latency, or the time the service takes to take the recorded live images, encode them, and send them to your device.

Streaming services often add designed latency to ensure you get 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 here? Those who like to bet on sporting events.

Anyone who wants to micro-bet on specific plays isn’t going to want to stream the Super Bowl this year. In fact, there will even be a delay in your cable feed, anywhere between “7 and 15 seconds.”

Last year, the streaming latency was even worse than the year before. This year, it’s up to FOX, and hopefully, the delay won’t be extended any longer.

That means that in 2023, 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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