Streaming numbers were the only super thing about Super Bowl 2019

Super Bowl 53 will go down as one for the record books, but not in the way you’d normally expect. In fact, on almost every front, this year’s game was a collection of lows,. It was the lowest-scoring Super Bowl ever, the halftime show featuring Maroon 5 was considered by many to be snore-worthy (even Adam Levine’s bare chest couldn’t spice things up), and the game drew one of the lowest TV audiences in years. Just about the only stat that went up was the number of people who chose to stream the game — and that was an all-time high. Here’s how the game looked from a viewing perspective.

The broadcast, delivered by CBS, got 98.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen, down from 103.4 million in 2018. The last time a Super Bowl saw a TV audience size this small was back in 2008, when New England took on the New York Giants. That game only had 97.4 million TV viewers.

By contrast, streams of the this year’s game came in at a record-breaking 2.2 million viewers, a 31 percent increase from the prior year. One big reason for the streaming boost was its massive availability. Viewers were able to tune in on their devices without authentication via, the CBS Sports app,, the NFL app, YouTube TV, and Verizon mobile properties — including Yahoo Sports, Yahoo, AOL, AOL Sports, and, oddly, Tumblr too, according to TechCrunch. It was also available via CBS’s online subscription service, CBS All Access.

Cord cutters may have rejoiced at the number of ways they were able to access the game without a cable or satellite box, but data from streaming infrastructure company Phenix suggests that these viewers ended up seeing the on-field action up to 46 seconds after it actually happened. While this might not be a big deal if you’re sitting in front of your TV with social media turned off, but it could be fairly annoying to have your Twitter feed blow up because of a fumble while you’re still watching the 40 seconds of gameplay that led up to that moment. Phenix measured the streaming lag — which varied significantly by service — by setting up a booth at the game itself, so it could see the difference between live and streamed action.

super bowl streaming 2019 superbowl average
Credit: Phenix

According to, those millions who chose not to watch the game weren’t exactly outside getting fresh air (unless they lived in New Orleans). Here are the shows that people found more interesting than gridiron warriors and Maroon 5:

Top movies:

  • Polar (Netflix)
  • IO (Netflix)
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp (Netflix)
  • Incredibles 2 (Netflix)
  • FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (Netflix)

Top shows:

  • Sex Education (Netflix)
  • T@gged (Hulu)
  • True Detective (HBO)
  • Vikings (Prime, Hulu)
  • Game of Thrones (HBO)
  • You (Netflix)

Joker in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is freezing some Nintendo Switch units

There have been reports that Joker in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is causing Nintendo Switch units to freeze. Even with the glitch, players may still try him out, amid rumors that Persona 5 will soon arrive to the console.
Home Theater

Looking to cut cable? Here’s everything you need to know about Pluto TV

Pluto TV offers plenty of entertainment in a fashion similar to live internet TV services, only at no cost — you don’t even need to register. Too good to be true? Here’s everything you need to know.
Movies & TV

Netflix vs. Hulu: Which streaming service is right for you?

Netflix and Hulu are two of the biggest names in streaming entertainment. Our guide will help you decide which streaming service has the content you want and the best value for your limited budget.

Pro Super Smash Bros. Ultimate players react to Joker gameplay reveal

Joker's gameplay in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was revealed and professional players are sharing their thoughts on social media. We also reached out to a pro player to get her first impressions and fears based on what she's seen.
Home Theater

These TVs might cost less than $1,000, but they certainly don’t perform like it

Check out our picks for the best TVs under $1,000 to enjoy top-shelf features like 4K Ultra HD, High Dynamic Range, and gorgeous image processing. Park yourself here to find the absolute best values in TV land.
Home Theater

FiOS problems: The potholes in Verizon's fiber internet and how to fix them

Verizon FiOS offers no just fiber internet, but TV and home phone service as well. See what kind of problems, issues, and trouble other Verizon FiOS users have reported before you decide to sign up for the service.
Product Review

Microsoft’s $350 Surface Headphones are a good first try, but not good enough

Microsoft’s Surface Headphones are stylish, comfortable, and have great noise-canceling, but at $350 a pair, they’ll have a hard time matching the industry leaders like Sony and Bose.
Home Theater

Bose QuietComfort 35 II wireless headphones get a $93 price cut

Good head-fi is expensive, but a premium set of headphones is worth it. The excellent Bose Quietcomfort 35 Series II is on sale right now from Rakuten with a two-day coupon code that can save you more than 90 bucks.

Weird Galaxy View 2 is a TV-style tablet to take your mind off the Galaxy Fold

Samsung may be about to resurrect a product line that last saw an entry three years ago. Renders of the Galaxy View 2 show it's sticking to the tablet-that-thinks-it's-a-TV formula.
Home Theater

Don't need sports or local channels? Philo can save you some cash

Philo is an affordable live TV streaming service, with an impressive channel list and feature set. With more hardware support, unlimited DVR, and greatly improved TV Everywhere features, the service is now even easier to recommend.

The best Bluetooth headsets of 2019, from Sennheiser to Jabra

Quality headsets are rare. Here are our picks for the best Bluetooth headsets available, whether you need something modest, cheap, or loaded with features. We highlight the best Bluetooth headsets you can get for different situations.
Home Theater

From game consoles to 4K UHD spinners, these are the best Blu-ray players

Streaming may be popular, but the disc isn't dead yet. To get the very best picture and sound quality from your system, you need to be watching Blu-ray or 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, and these are the best Blu-ray players you can buy.
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

With sleek forms, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.
Home Theater

The best MP3 players of 2019 cram tons of music into a small package

Want to go for a run, but your phone is weighing you down? Don't sweat it. Can't fit your whole music library on your smartphone? No worries. Check out our list of the best MP3 players, and find one that works for you.