10% Plan to Stream the Super Bowl this Year, 50% Will Use Pay TV

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CBS will stream Super Bowl LIII without authentication and 10.4% of viewers will take advantage of it. According to a survey conducted by PCMag and Sports Illustrated, 10.4% will stream the game, 50% will watch through their pay TV service, and 8.4% will watch over-the-air TV. As for the rest, 31.1% won't watch at all.

Breaking those numbers down, the survey sees streaming rates higher with young people. One-third of 18- to 24-year-olds will stream the game, as will 27% of 25- to 34-year-olds. Only 5% of those 64 or older plan to stream.

"While overall Super Bowl ratings are down, digital viewership is on the rise; NBC reported 2.02 million streams in 2018 compared to 1.72 million in 2017," says Chloe Albanesius, PCMag's executive editor of news and features. "And while most people will probably hunker down with the beer and nachos in front of the TV and just flip to CBS, it's never been easier to stream the game if you're away from home or lack a cable or traditional TV setup. If you have a smartphone or any number of media streaming devices it's just a matter of downloading the CBS app."

Roku is the most popular streaming option, the survey finds, with 33% planning to stream the Super Bowl via a Roku device. That's followed by Amazon Fire (24%), Apple TV (18%), and Chromecast and Android TV (tied at 4%).

Latency is still as issue with live sports, and 27% of those who streamed an NFL game this season said the delay negatively impacted their experience.

"As is the case with any large event, technical issues are to be expected. Last year, Hulu's live TV members missed the final minutes of the game due to a system error, while PlayStation Vue subscribers also experienced downtime," Albanesius says. "Hopefully, CBS's tech team is mindful of the fact that online streams will only increase in 2019, and has planned accordingly by providing adequate bandwidth and allocating resources for a high-quality stream."

The survey questioned 2,800 respondents last week using SurveyGizmo.

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