The Superbowl is annually the most watched sporting event in the world (and often the most watched television event as well). The Superbowl airs on a different network almost every year—typically rotating between CBS, NBC, and FOX, based on the purchased rights by the television networks. Normally, you've either needed a cable subscription or an antenna with a signal to a local station carrying the network. However, this only works in the United States or if you're in an area of the country where you can pick up a signal from such a location. If you live somewhere else, or if you don't have the broadcast station in reception range, or if you use your internet service for all of your entertainment needs, you'll need to know how to watch the Superbowl online.
What Is Online Streaming?
Online streaming is when you watch a video over an Internet connection without downloading it. So instead of downloading a file and watching it once the download has finished, you stream the file as it downloads in real time. Prior to the advancement of Internet connection speeds, this was not an option. Now though, it is possible to stream up to 4K quality programming. If you watch YouTube videos, this is usually a streaming video. Netflix is another example of streaming video, where your system never downloads the file completely but instead plays as the download continues.
There are now a number of available TV streaming services, giving you the ability to watch television programming without a cable subscription. Many television stations also provide streaming applications, which allow you to watch the TV programming with an app instead of through a traditional antenna or cable connection. Most broadcast stations, such as CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, PBS, and others all have applications that make it possible to watch the same TV you would over the air, but instead over the Internet.
As the Superbowl has traditionally been available on an over the air broadcast TV station, you do not need a cable subscription to watch it. This has helped make it the most watched television sports program annually. Often, when switching a major sports program to cable, it has experienced a decline in viewership. This happened when Monday Night Football moved from ABC to ESPN, and when the NCAA Basketball championship game moved from CBS to cable.
Is There a Need for Online Streaming?
When looking for information on how to watch the Superbowl online, you first need to determine whether this is even necessary. If you already have a cable subscription, you don't need to have an online stream. If you have a clean and clear antenna signal, you don't need to worry about an online stream either. However, there are instances where you will need to know how to watch the Superbowl online, which is why you'll want to read further.
No Cable, Bad Signal
If you don't have a cable connection and your antenna signal is less than desirable for the channel the Superbowl will be on in a given year, you'll want an online stream. You don't want your Superbowl flickering in and out because the signal is weak. Additionally, if you have poor visibility, a big storm, cloud cover or even extreme wind in the area it might affect your ability to watch the game.
Outside the Country
If you live outside the country, you'll run into other problems. For starters, you won't have an antenna signal that will bring this game on through an over the air broadcast. Chances are it will appear on a cable channel where you are, due to how popular the game is. Often in other countries, the game will appear on ESPN or the national sports channel, although if English is not the native language of the country you're in, the announcers may speak in a different language.
Due to this, you'll need an online stream of the game. Now, there might be times where you'll need to block your IP address, as many of the streaming services and apps in the United States do not have the streaming rights in other countries. You can get around this by preventing the streaming service form identifying your computer's IP address, in which case you'll be able to see the Superbowl Livestream.
How to Watch the Superbowl Online
When it comes to knowing how to watch the Superbowl online, there are a few ways you can go about doing this. It does depend on how you're watching and where you're watching, but really no matter where you're living, you'll be able to learn how to watch the Superbowl online.
In the United States
If you're in the United States and watching from a computer, you can go directly to the broadcast station's website. The live game stream will be available, most likely on the front page. You'll click on the live window and it will load. You can increase the display size so it takes up the entire screen.
If you're watching on a television, you have a few options. First, if you have a streaming device, such as a Roku, Apple TV, or if you have a Smart TV, you can download the application for the particular station. Once the application has downloaded, you need to open it up and then choose the game. Typically, this works fine although sometimes the app version will require you to enter a cable subscription log-in. Naturally, if you're attempting to watch the game through a live stream and you don't have a cable subscription, you're not going to be able to enter this information.
If you don't have the cable subscription but you want to watch it on a TV (and the app is not working), pull the game up on your computer, then connect the computer to an HDMI port on the TV. This will send the signal from your computer to the TV. If your computer does not have an HDMI port, there is likely another video-out connection port. You'll probably need to get an adapter that will send it from your output to the HDMI input on your TV. But once you have it, you'll be able to watch the game on your TV.
If you live internationally and the streaming application or website is not providing you with a Livestream, you'll need to look into another way to watch the Superbowl online. To do this, you will need to block the IP address of your computer. There are two ways to do this. The first is to block the IP address directly on your computer or to hide the entire Internet signal location, generated by your Wi-Fi router. If you have a few days before the game, you'll be better off going straight to the source with your router, but you can still opt to block it right on the computer.
To block your IP signature on the computer, you must search for an IP blocker website. There are different options available and it may depend on where you live. You'll also need to pay for a subscription to this. Once you pay the subscription and activate it, the website will receive all outgoing signals from your computer and block the IP address. Some will even give you a select regional IP address if you request it.
The other option is to purchase a VPN protected Wi-Fi router. This is the best way to go because it blocks out all Internet activity used by all devices that connect to your Wi-Fi router. This way, if you have multiple computers, smart devices, or other hardware, you won't need to pay for a different subscription for each individual IP address. You can expect to pay around $100 for a VPN protected Wi-Fi router, but it is worth considering, just make sure the VPN router you're buying is compatible with the Internet service provider.
Social Media Livestream
The last option, if nothing else works, is to use a streaming social media service. Periscope, through Twitter, is one such option. This is where someone turns on their mobile phone and either is at the game or points it at their TV and the feed loads onto your screen. You will need to sign up for a Twitter and then a Periscope feed, but it works and you can even download a Periscope app for your smart device and watch it on your computer. It's not optimal, but when you have no other option it works.
The Superbowl is the biggest sporting event annually. With hundreds of millions of viewers spanning the globe, this is not just the biggest sporting event of the year, but often the biggest television event of the year. If you have a cable subscription or a strong antenna signal, you can watch the game without using a Livestream connection. However, if you don't have either, or if you live in a different country, you'll need to know how to watch the Superbowl online. By using these tips and suggestions, you'll know how to watch the Superbowl online, and you'll always find there is a way to stream the game wherever you live.