Wait A Minute: Super Bowl Streaming Delays Ranged Up To 77 Seconds

While no one can say that there wasn’t plenty of social media action during this year’s Super Bowl, it’s likely that the volume and nature
of it was affected to some degree by livestreaming delays averaging anywhere between average delays of nearly 24 seconds to nearly 77 seconds.

That was the range found by interactive video platform Phenix, which collected 167 data points benchmarking latency across six common streaming platforms.  

To measure latency from the field of play to the average viewer, Phenix benchmarked latency of over-the-air (OTA) broadcast, cable and satellite against an individual inside the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona during the game. It then measured the delay from these benchmarked signals to the streaming platforms on a variety of devices and operating systems across locations in the U.S.

The streaming service of game host Fox showed the lowest average lag behind real-time (23.76 seconds). (See  chart at top of page.)

Sports-oriented virtual MVPD FuboTV clocked the longest average delay (76.73 seconds), followed by Hulu (69.08) and perhaps surprisingly, NFL+ (60.7). The averages for DirecTV Stream and YouTube TV came in under 60 seconds.

Phenix also measured audience drift, which compares the range of lags for viewers using the same platform.

DirecTV Stream’s range was the largest, with lags varying by up to nearly 97 seconds, while YouTube TV showed the smallest lag range (nearly 41 seconds).


Such delays interfere with social media and texting engagement between fans fearing spoilers, limit play-by-play betting opportunities, and drive fans crazy, says Phenix, which maintains that there is no excuse for delays and buffering impacting the viewing experience this much, particularly for one of the biggest events of the year.

“Throughout this entire NFL season, users from a variety of streaming platforms have routinely flocked to social media to express their frustration with delays, spoilers and buffering,” says Roy Reichbach, CEO of Phenix, which believes it stands to benefit by comparison with other platforms' performance. “To be able to stream the biggest game of the year, platforms must effectively control common streaming risks like changing network conditions, viewing surges and latency.”

2 comments about "Wait A Minute: Super Bowl Streaming Delays Ranged Up To 77 Seconds".
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  1. Jack Wakshlag from Media Strategy, Research & Analytics, February 14, 2023 at 6:26 p.m.

    Interesting. If this is so, how do you get accurate ratings for individual ads. If currency in the future includes second by second ratings that allow for viewership estimates for individual ads precise to the second, this is a huge problem. 

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, February 15, 2023 at 6:15 a.m.

    Jack, wouldn't the measurement system record each commercial being on each screen whenever it appeared?

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