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NBC's livestream of this year's Super Bowl shows exactly how important the actual television is in sports watching culture and why it's not going away anytime soon. Lots of people have yet to cut the cord because there's something about watching sports on a big, crisp, reliable TV screen. Streaming just doesn't do it, as evidenced by all the complaints following this year's Super Bowl live stream. NBC claims the experiment was a success, reports The New York Times' Brian Stelter, who predicts "the number of total streams is likely to top one million," but user comments tell a different story:

  • "Rudimentary," says The Associated Press's Jack Doyle. 
  • Delayed, one tweeter told Media Decoder's Brian Stelter. 
  • Worse ad experience, another on Twitter said. "There’s a huge delay with the stream and they keep showing the same ads," wrote Monica Reida 
  • Bad connection. "Overall, it reminded me of trying to push too much data down too small a Time Warner pipe - must have had to 'reconnect' or 'wait for program to return' 15 times," lamented TechCrunch commenter Ken Dardis. 
  • No added value. "All the peripheral items did nothing for the game experience, except add to the data (which took away from the resolution)," continued Dardis. 
  • Sub-par viewing experience. "The quality still left a lot to be desired. HD stream? Not even close," noted another over at TechCrunch.
  • Streaming failfrom Streaming Media's Tim Siglin.

All of these things hold true for any type of streaming, but matter especially for sports viewing. Football fans want to have the best angles, see plays as they happen, feel like they are in the stands. ESPN and others know this, charging cable providers for their valuable loot, pushing cable prices up for consumers. Streaming just can't compete for sports viewers, so they're still willing to pay to see their games. For now. 

Image via Shutterstock by Tom Davison. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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