Super Bowl 50 kicks off this Sunday, Feb. 7, at 6:30 p.m. on CBS, pitting the Carolina Panthers against the Denver Broncos. For those of you cord cutters out there, this means figuring out how you might be able to watch the game without an expensive cable television package. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever this year, and more complete than ever before to boot.
The CBS Sports app
To stream all of the action, all you need is the CBS Sports app. This is a free download on your iOS device, but you’re a serious cord cutter and have better tools than that. Luckily for you, the CBS Sports app is available as a free download on the Xbox One, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, and my personal choice, the Apple TV. If you’re a Google Chromecast user, you can Cast the game onto your big screen using the CBS Sports app from your iPhone or iPad.
What will this get me?
For the first time, this year’s Super Bowl live stream will include everything that the telecast gives you. That means all of the great (and not-so-great) commercials, which are why many of us watch the Super Bowl in the first place. Unfortunately, the CBS live stream won’t support pausing or rewinding.
This one we don’t know for sure. It’s anybody’s guess as to whether or not CBS’s live stream will keep up with demand. It has in the past, but cord cutters have grown tremendously in numbers, so we have to hope that CBS has accounted for that in reserving its bandwidth for the streaming game. Also, international cord cutters won’t be able to stream the game without a subscription to NFL Game Pass, according to the National Football League. Apparently the CBS Sports app is only streaming the game in the United States.
Another potential risk is if your own Internet connection isn’t fast enough to keep up with the stream. Generally speaking, if you can stream media from Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Video without buffering pauses, you should be in good shape. If not, you might consider boosting your downstream speed, at least temporarily, if you’re able to do that easily. If you’re a true cord cutter, though, this is probably the least of your worries.
Quit worrying and start planning that Super Bowl party
Once you’ve downloaded the app you need and made sure your Internet can keep up, it’s time to start planning that party. Get your chips, dips, nachos, and other party foods ready to go, and enjoy all that the game and its attendant commercials will have to offer you.