TV Answer Man, I watched the Cowboys-49ers game on Sunday on Paramount+ and the game was at least a minute behind the actual action. I was on Twitter and people were talking about plays that hadn’t happened yet on my stream on Paramount+. I’ve noticed this delay in other streaming games before. Is this normal? Why does this happen? — Mateo, Orlando.
Mateo, the Dallas Cowboys-San Francisco 49ers playoff game on Sunday was streamed live on Paramount+ as well as broadcast on CBS and Nickelodeon. Some Paramount+ viewers, however, posted complaints on social media sites that their stream was 30 to 60 seconds behind the action on CBS and Nickelodeon.
Unfortunately, this is not unusual for a stream of a live sporting event. Let me explain. It’s a little complicated.
There are two kinds of streaming: Live and On Demand. Netflix, for instance, is an on-demand service. That means its programming is loaded onto servers and distributed over the Internet to our homes.
Click Amazon: See Today’s 1-Day-Only Sales!
We choose the on-demand shows we want to watch, and they are usually delivered without any technical snafus because they have previously been stored on those servers. This gives the on-demand services time to ensure the distribution will be done with relatively few flaws.
However, live streaming from services such as Paramount+, DIRECTV Stream, Sling TV and others can not be pre-loaded because the signals from the live channels are distributed in near real-time. Consequently, the live stream sometimes encounters technical issues during the transmission.
The live streamers try to minimize this issue by distributing the signals after a short delay, usually from 30 to 60 seconds. (That’s why your Cowboys-49ers stream was behind CBS and Nickelodeon.) This gives them some time to reduce possible glitches in the stream which can cause buffering or picture freezing.
The live streaming industry is hopeful that the technology will improve and ultimately eliminate this issue. But as of now, live streaming is still prone to technical hiccups and therefore requires a delay.
Mateo, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
Need to buy something today? Please buy it using this Amazon.com link. This site receives a small portion of each purchase, which helps us continue to provide these articles.
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at email@example.com. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann
It should be noted that ALL live programs that are being streamed on the various services are delayed. Not just sports. I often times get a message about a touchdown or a goal before I see it happen on my TV. I also am pretty sure that the delay on fuboTV is a little bit longer than it is on YouTube TV.
HERE is the FACT on “delays” …When a broadcaster SENDS a SIGNAL to SATELLITE (which is 24000 MILES UP and 24000 miles down AND then IS IS streamed OR other PROCESS that IS YOUR delay…it IS ASTOUNDING TO ME THAT no one knows THAT WHILE RADIO WAVE TRAVEL AT THE SPEED OF light, A ALMOST 50 k journey AND the RE”PROCESSED” TIME IS NOT MENTIONED. i HAVE PERSONALLY SEEN GAMES THAT WERE live ON THE antenna AND SAT CAST ON “duncetv” AND THE DELAY WAS ABOUT 8 TO 10 SECONDS DEPENDING. I OFTEN WONDERED IF GAMBLING WAS affected buy these outcomes. (A BAR that did sports betting for example) dono how that would impact that biz but there ya go BUBBAS…the DELAYS are all part of the game and N-O-T done on purpose !!
you got it all wrong.it is the major TV networks that sends the tv signal from their satellites to all of the local TV networks, who in returns sends the TV signals over the air to your TV. the satellite providers get their signal directly from the major networks the same way that your local TV station gets their TV signal.