CBS expands streaming options for Super Bowl LV

CBS will broaden the number of streaming platforms it will support for the broadcaster's coverage of Super Bowl LV, set for Sunday, February 7, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

CBS will offer a free stream of Super Bowl LV (no pay-TV credentials required) at CBSSports.com and via the CBS Sports app for an array of OTT devices, smart TVs and mobile devices. In addition to CBS digital properties, the game will be streamed for free on NFL digital properties across devices, and on mobile via the participating teams' mobile properties, Yahoo Sports and other Verizon Media mobile properties.

CBS will also stream the game via CBS All Access, the premium subscription VoD streaming service set to be relaunched in the US as Paramount+ on March 4.

While the streaming options for the game will expand, CBS won't match last year's achievement by Fox and stream Super Bowl LV in the 4K or high dynamic range formats. CBS Sports Digital told The Verge that production limitations caused by the pandemic is the culprit. Last year, Fox Sports provided a free, upscaled 4K/HDR stream of Super Bowl LIV to Amazon Fire TV and Roku platforms.

Last year's free stream of Super Bowl LIV wasn't without some business drama, as a delayed, new distribution agreement between Roku and Fox jeopardized access to Fox apps on Roku players and Roku TVs. They reached a new deal just prior to the game, restoring access to Fox apps.

CBS' expanded reach for the Super Bowl LV stream will be looking to break another record. The live stream of last year's Super Bowl matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers pulled down an average-minute streaming audience of 3.4 million, a 30% increase over the stream of the prior year's game (2.6 million) and 103% higher than Fox's stream of Super Bowl LI in 2017 (1.7 million). Those numbers didn't include streams delivered via virtual multichannel video programming distributors (vMVPDs) that carried Fox.

While live streaming numbers for the Super Bowl have been rising in recent years, they're still a drop in the bucket compared with the overall telecast game – last year's matchup drew an average TV audience of almost 100 million, according to Nielsen.

CBS's coverage of Super Bowl LV kicks off with pregame shows starting at 11:30 am ET. Jim Nantz and Tony Romo will call the game.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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