Live Blogging Super Bowl LVIII Stream on Paramount+ Across Devices

The Paramount+ live stream of the Super Bowl has started and is 1080P 60fps true PQ HDR, has no color space conversions and is encoded for six bitrates maxing out at 12Mbps. The CBS Sports app stream requires TV Everywhere authentication and points to a local affiliate. Various MVPDs and vMVPDs are picking up an upconverted 4K stream, but Paramount+ will not have the upconverted 4K stream themselves. Paramount+ has a free trial and has both the local affiliate feeds, which is the case for standard NFL games, and a national stream. NFL+ is also streaming the game on phones and tablets.

The 2023 Super Bowl by FOX Sports delivered an average of 7 million simultaneous streams across all FOX Sports and NFL digital properties without co-viewing. I expect Paramount to have a larger audience this year, but not by that big of a percentage. I will be live blogging the stream starting at 6pm ET, so check back here for updates.

10:55pm ET: Game over. Like many Super Bowl streams where users have tech issues, it is hard to judge how widespread they are and what percentage of viewers were impacted. I don’t expect Paramount to disclose the nature of the problem or what vendor was the root cause of it. Viewership numbers will be out in the next day or two, but they won’t be detailed enough to know what percentage of “viewers” had a good user experience versus those that did not since they are all counted as the same.

9:08pm ET: The tech issue has largely been migrated by now (unless I get permission, I am not disclosing what it was), and fewer error messages are being reported on Twitter.

8:45pm ET: No issues for me with the stream during the halftime show.

7:50pm ET: The streams on Amazon, Fubo, and YouTube TV have been rock solid for me.

7:30pm ET: The stream on Fire TV and Apple TV crashed. Same error message. While the stream’s uptime has improved, it’s still not been as stable as it should be.

7:14pm ET: This news report is inaccurate: “The streaming platform seems to be struggling with all the Super Bowl traffic.” The technical issue was not due to the “volume” of traffic Paramount was receiving. I see the highest number of problems reported around 5:30pm ET, with fewer reports coming in at 6pm. However, users still say “video is currently unavailable” errors as of 7:00pm ET. Some are reporting the stream is back up but at a lower quality (720). I was getting 5.1 on Fire TV, but I am no longer. I was getting HDR on Roku.

7:00pm ET: Latency on the MacBook Pro is 30 seconds, which is expected for desktops. The latency of the Paramount+ stream via Prime Video is 2 seconds, and the Paramount+ app on Apple TV is averaging 8 seconds behind the CBS pay TV feed.

6:50pm ET: The stream across YouTube TV and Hulu has been looking good for me. I see very few technical issues being reported online for either service by users.

6:29pm ET: The number of reports of the stream not working on Twitter has dropped dramatically. It is working for me across all devices.

6:00pm ET: The Latency on the stream for me is 10 seconds on Fire TVs and LG TVs.

5:48pm ET: Many are reporting the stream is still down for them. A tech problem somewhere in the video workflow.

5:39pm ET: The stream is back up now for me.

5:30pm ET: The stream is down for me across streaming boxes and TVs, with an error of  “Sorry, this video is currently unavailable. Please try again. (6006)”. Others are reporting the same error.

2:30pm ET: I’m using three different Paramount+ accounts across Roku Streaming Stick 4K (3820X2), Apple TV 4K (A2843), Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max, two LG OLEDs (55C9AUA/65BXPUA) and two Samsung TVs (UN40F5500AF/QN65S90CAFXZA).