Streaming the Super Bowl? Here’s how much of a delay you can expect

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Plan on streaming the Super Bowl this year? One industry expert says research shows you may be a minute or more behind real time action.

Fans like to feel they can help their team as they root with all their might.

“Absolutely, they can feel our energy,” Jim Steuart said.

When it comes to the excitement of a big play in the biggest game, you probably don’t want to know before it happens.

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“We can hear our neighbors screaming a couple seconds before hand because they are watching live on antenna,” Jim Chang said.

You also want to be able to share the moment with friends, or perhaps see others reactions on social media.

“When we watch it live we have to wait to text her a few seconds so she can get caught up so I don’t spoil it for her so it’s definitely a real thing,” Megan Guyles said.

Those delays, also known as latency, is something the NFL’s former head of marketing has been studying for the past five Super Bowls. The numbers are pretty staggering. During last year’s Super Bowl, five of the six main ways people streamed the game were a record 54 seconds or more. That includes Hulu, Youtube TV, Fubo TV, and DIRECTTV Stream. Even the NFL’s streaming service was more than a minute behind.

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“We have to revert to an older technology like antenna or over the air to give yourself a chance to watch the game with as little delay as possible. But you shouldn’t have to do that,” Jed Corenthal, Phenix CMO, said.

Long lag times are also becoming problematic for the NFL, which reportedly has a billion dollar deal with sports books. You can bet on any number of things live during the Super Bowl, but could be plays behind.

“You aren’t betting on the data that the odds are changing and you haven’t seen the pictures yet,” Corenthal said.

“Hopefully they can fix it or figure it out. I don’t know what causes it,” Guyles said.

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Corenthal says his streaming platform has technology to break video down into smaller packets instead of chunks that need to be reassembled before it’s ready to watch. Importantly, that can still be streamed to millions. Corenthal says it’s just up to major streaming services to adapt the technology.

“I just think it’s a better experience for everybody all around and I think slowly but surely we’ll get there,” he said.

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