The big game day is almost upon us: Super Bowl 50 will pit the Carolina Panthers against the Denver Broncos on Sunday night at 6:30 p.m. But American viewers don’t need cable or even a television antenna to tune in: CBS is streaming the game online for free.
Fans will be able to watch it on CBSSports.com from their computers or tablets. They can also use the CBS Sports app to stream it to a pretty wide range of connected-TV devices, including Roku set-top boxes, Apple TVs, Google’s Chromecasts and Xbox Ones.
But only “eligible Verizon Wireless customers” will be able to stream the game to their smartphones, via the NFL’s mobile app. And fans outside the U.S. will have to subscribe to NFL Game Pass, a video service with a $99-a-year price tag, to watch the game online. That is, unless they go the somewhat ethically questionable route of using a virtual private network or proxy to make their Web traffic look like it’s coming from inside the U.S.
Super Bowl games have been streamed online since 2012, usually on the site of whichever channel has broadcast rights. But there will be at least one significant change for Super Bowl 50: National ads accompanying the game will be live-streamed along with the main attraction for the first time, according to Variety. So just because you have old-fashioned television access doesn’t mean you’ll have to miss out on live tweeting about the same Super Bowl ads as everyone else.