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How to watch Super Bowl 2024: Every streaming option

ZDNET found the cheapest ways to watch the game, which streaming services you need, how a VPN can help and everything else to know about how to watch the Super Bowl tonight.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor
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It's officially Super Bowl Sunday: Tonight at 6:30 p.m. EST, the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs (with Taylor Swift in tow) will kick off football's biggest game at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, with Usher headlining the halftime show. 

Also: The best 85-inch TVs of 2024: Expert tested and reviewed

Unless you watch the game -- which is being broadcast by CBS -- over the air (OTA) with an antenna, the best and cheapest way to watch the Super Bowl will be with a live TV streaming service

Besides CBS, the game will also stream live on Paramount+. As a Star Trek fan, I already subscribe to Paramount+, but if you're not sure, you can sign up for a free one-week trial period. And, for a truly different sort of Super Bowl broadcast, Nickelodeon will host a "slime-filled, family-friendly" version of the game. If you want to watch the big game en Español, Univision will air Super Bowl LVIII in Spanish. 

Also: The best VPNs for streaming

The game will also be available in 4K High Dynamic Range (HDR) OTA and on a few other streaming networks. That said, while the video will be better than what you're used to seeing from your bog-standard Sunday broadcast, the 4K is actually being upscaled from 1080p HDR, so it won't be as sharp as it theoretically could be. (In related news, don't invest in an 8K TV anytime soon -- unless you really must have cutting-edge TV technology. There's little enough 4K content out there, and there's almost none in 8K.)

Below you'll find all the rest of your Super Bowl streaming options. 

Where to stream Super Bowl 2024

Paramount Plus
Paramount Plus/ZDNET

Paramount+ is not technically a live TV streaming service: It's CBS's combination live shows and video-on-demand streaming service. This year it's also hosting the AFC Championship game and the Super Bowl. Paramount+ offers the cheapest way to stream both games with its $5.99 per month or $59.99 a year Paramount+ Essential plan. On top of that, you can get a free month of the service if you sign up for either of its plans by entering the promo code "Superbowl" at checkout.

One caveat: You'll only be able to watch the game in HDTV HDR, not 4K. The service also doesn't have any DVR features. Still, you can't beat the price. 

By monticello shutterstock

DirecTV Stream has gone through an amazing number of name changes. In the past, it's been AT&T TV, AT&T TV Now, and DirecTV Now. Whatever you call it, you'll get your local CBS station and Univision on even its cheapest package: the $69.99 Entertainment package.

Also: 6 ways to save money on TV streaming without losing the shows you love

DirecTV Stream's other packages offer additional channels, with prices from $105 to $150 per month. For a limited time, you can get the Choice package, with more than 105 channels, for $83.99/month for your first two months instead of $108.99. Unfortunately, DirecTV does not offer 4K streaming at this time.

In addition, DirecTV Stream includes generous unlimited Cloud DVR storage. At home, you can watch the game, or any other show, on up to 20 streaming devices at once on your home network. Away from home, you can share your stream with three other devices.

FuboTV is best known for its sports coverage. But it's not just sports. It's also a full-fledged streaming service with all the usual networks, including the ones that matter for the game -- CBS and Univision.

FuboTV's starter plan, Pro, has 183 channels and comes with 1,000 hours of cloud DVR storage. You can stream to up to 10 screens at once on your home network and three screens at once away from home for $74.99 a month. One big plus about FuboTV is that it offers 4K streaming as part of its base package.

FuboTV's other packages -- Elite, $89.99, and Premier, $99.99 -- include additional channels. 

This service also encourages new users to sign up for the big game with a free seven-day trial. FuboTV is convinced that once you've tried their service, you'll stick.

Hulu with Live TV offers CBS on all its packages. The least expensive option is Live TV Only for $76.99 a month. However, Univision is not available on any Hulu offering, not even its Español add-on.

You could get one of the service's bundles with Disney+ and ESPN+, albeit all with ads bundled. For $79.99 a month, that's a good deal. Or if, like me, you can't stand ads, you can pay $89.99 and avoid most of the ad spots.

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With any of these packages, you can stream two sessions at once. For another $10 a month, you can play as many streams at once at home. But you're still limited to three screens when you're away from home. 

Another nice plus is you can store an unlimited number of videos in your cloud DVR archive for up to nine months. One thing you can't do, however, is watch or store the Super Bowl in 4K. While you can watch many Hulu shows, such as Only Murders in the Building, Kindred, and Reboot, in 4K, live TV shows, including the Super Bowl, aren't available in 4K. 

youtube TV

With over 100 channels, YouTube TV offers more of the most popular channels than its competitors. By CNET's count, out of the top 100 networks, YouTube TV offers the most channels, 78, of any streaming service.

YouTube TV enables you to watch your local ABC, CBS, Fox, PBS, and NBC channels in most areas. That means, of course, you can easily watch the Super Bowl on the service with its lowest-priced plan, the YouTube TV Base Plan, for $72.99 a month. YouTube TV also currently offering this service for $62.99 a month for your initial three months.

YouTube TV also now offers a new feature that could -- maybe -- make watching the game more enjoyable. All TV broadcasts come with delays between the live action and what you see on your TV. As you may know, live broadcast delays on streaming services are longer than OTA's delays. They can range from six to 60 seconds. This latency is the result of transmission slowdowns between the cameras and your screen. 

Now, some YouTube TV apps come with the option of reducing this delay, 

The new option is available in the YouTube TV app under the "More" menu > "Broadcast Delay." You can choose between "Default" and "Decrease for 48 hours." If you choose to decrease, you'll see the game a few seconds faster. But, Google warns, "The lower the broadcast delay, the less buffer the video player will have. With a lower broadcast delay, you're more likely to experience playback interruption."

Also: Did your TV streaming bill just go up again? Here's why I chose YouTubeTV

That means the game may freeze at times, or you'll experience choppy video. I fear the big game's load on the Internet makes it more likely than not that you'll see a lot of bad playback. The choice is yours. Personally, I plan to try it, because if the video does go south, I can always switch back to Default.  

If you're a Spanish speaker, you'll need the $34.99-a-month Spanish Plan to watch the game. You can also subscribe to this plan without getting the YouTube TV Base Plan.

YouTube TV also has unlimited cloud storage, and you get six accounts to share with your household. For this, you'll pay $54.99 for your first three months and then $64.99 monthly. You can use this service on three screens at once. For Super Bowl watchers, you can also watch the game in 4K, but to get that resolution, you must pay an additional $20 for 4K Plus.

Enjoy the game, my friends!

Super Bowl streaming options, compared

Monthly subscription costCBS Included with base plan?Unvision included with base plan?4K Available?
DirecTV Stream$70Yes.Yes.No.
FuboTV$75Yes.Yes.Yes, with Elite Plan or better.
Hulu with Live TV$77Yes.Yes.No.
YouTube TV$73*Yes.No, It is available on the $25 Spanish Plan.Yes, with the $10 4K Plus plan.

* A lower-cost trial is available.

Can I stream the Super Bowl from outside the US? Will a VPN help, too?

Some international TV services will be offering the Super Bowl. In Canada, for example, you can watch the game with a DAZN streaming subscription for CA$24.99 per month. If you're in the United Kingdom or Ireland, you can watch the Super Bowl 2024 live stream on Sky Sports. But you can also watch the game on the free UK channel, ITV1.

Also: The best VPN services (and how to choose the right one for you)

Or, if you want to watch using your usual US streaming service, with most VPNs, you can stream the game from your home streaming service. ZDNET named ExpressVPN as the best VPN for streaming

ExpressVPN is ZDNET's tested pick for best VPN for streaming, and best VPN overall. It supports up to eight simultaneous connections, and has an exceptionally large network of servers, which makes it an ideal VPN for streaming content. ExpressVPN also offers a 30-day free trial if you'd like to test it out just for the big game.

Do I need a live TV subscription service to stream the Super Bowl?

If you don't have cable, satellite, or OTA, you'll need a live TV-streaming service that offers CBS to get the big game.

Your choices include DirecTV Stream, FuboTV, Hulu with Live TV, and YouTube TV.

There is one other option this year: CBS's inexpensive Paramount+ service.

Regardless of how you watch the game, you'll need at least an 8Mbps or better internet connection. Faster is always better. If your service provides streams in 4K, you'll want a speedy 16 Mbps or faster connection.

What time is the Super Bowl?

The Super Bowl game will begin on Sunday, February 11 at 6:30 p.m. Eastern tIme.

Can I watch the Super Bowl for free?

With an antenna, yes. Otherwise, to get the big game, you'll need a live TV-streaming service that offers your local CBS station or you'll need a Paramount+ subscription.

Your live TV choices are DirecTV Stream, FuboTV, Hulu with Live TV, and YouTube TV. 

Who is playing the Super Bowl Halftime Show?

Usher, the famous American pop singer and dancer, returns for his second Super Bowl halftime appearance. 

What is the cheapest way to stream the big game?

A PBD WA-2608 outdoor TV antenna, mount, remote, and receiver on a grey background

The least expensive way to watch the game is with an antenna. For now, the Super Bowl is still on broadcast television, but this might not be the case going forward. 

The NFL Wild Card game between the Miami Dolphins and the Kansas City Chiefs on January 13 was only available on NBC's Peacock. While ordinary viewers groused about this, the NFL loved it. I don't think we'll see the Super Bowl become a pay-for-view event in the next few years, but it will come. 

If you can't watch it with an antenna, and you don't have -- or want -- to subscribe to a streaming service, there is one other cheap way to do it: get the game on CBS's Paramount+ streaming service. For $5.99 per month, it's not a bad deal at all. The one fly in the soup is that you won't be able to watch the game in 4K. 

Finally, make sure your streaming service supports your local CBS station. Before putting your money down, make certain that the service will deliver the game. Sure, most of the time, you'll be fine, but you don't want to explain to your buddies that they can't watch the game after all if you're one of the unfortunate few who can't stream a local CBS station. 

Where can I stream the Super Bowl in 4K?

To watch the Super Bowl in 4K, your least expensive choice is FuboTV's Elite Plan or better, which bundles in 4K. Your only other option is YouTube TV, but you'll pay an extra $10 for 4K. 

How can I watch the Super Bowl without cable?

Unless you can get the game with an antenna from a local CBS station, you'll need one of the TV cable replacement services listed above or Paramount+

There are gray-market streaming services that may show the big game as well. Don't go there. Some of them don't work well, while others can infect your smart TV with malware. Yes, malware is now targeting Samsung TVs, and Amazon Fire TVs and Sticks. It is so not worth taking a chance with your smart TV, even if it is the Super Bowl. 

Can I watch the Super Bowl on Amazon Prime?

Sorry, no can do. Maybe next year. 

Can I watch the Super Bowl on SlingTV?

No, you can't. Sling TV's a la carte channels do not include CBS.

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