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CBS Sports App Removed Nearly Entire Stream Delay vs. Cable For Super Bowl LV

Jason Gurwin

Nothing is worse than watching a big game and having a touchdown spoiled, because your friend is watching on cable, while you’re streaming the game. This is an all-too-common occurrence for streamers.

While CBS All Access had their share of struggles during Super Bowl LV, the CBS Sports App was a huge win for streamers.

The CBS Sports App, which offered the CBS telecast of the Bucs win over the Chiefs for free, removed nearly the entire delay (or latency) compared to cable that streamers are accustomed to when watching live sports.

The Streamable tested the delay between the feed on cable vs. a number of streaming services – and the CBS Sports App won big time. In comparison to cable, it was only 2 seconds behind the live feed. CBS Sports said ahead of the broadcast, that despite not offering 4K feed like Fox did last year, they instead focused reliability and low-latency – so your stream won’t be as far behind live TV.

In comparison, the next shortest stream delay was the Yahoo! Sports App at 13 seconds, while the NFL App was 35 seconds behind the cable feed. The best performer of Live TV Streaming Services was YouTube TV at 18 seconds, then fuboTV at 34 seconds, AT&T TV at 35 seconds, CBS All Access at 37 seconds, and Hulu Live TV at 39 seconds. Sling TV did not carry the Super Bowl, because they don’t offer CBS. The results would vary slightly by device and location.

The one major difference between the CBS Sports App and Live TV Streaming Services is that is was carrying a single national feed – instead of offering a local affiliate in many different markets.

One of the annoying aspects of streaming video—especially for live events—is historically it lagged behind cable and satellite TV. Many sports fans in apartments, would hear their neighbors with cable scream—before a touchdown would appear on their stream. Also, the game is spoiled if you follow along on Twitter or receive text messages from friends.

But, reducing the latency to almost nothing for Super Bowl LV, CBS showed that it is possible to stream a massive event online in near real-time.

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