This coming Sunday, the magic happens. The Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers will take to a field in San Francisco and give it their all. Forget basketball and baseball, football is America’s past time and its favorite sport. Thankfully, users can watch Super Bowl 50 on Windows without having a cable subscription or even a Digital TV antenna.
Super Bowl 50 is different from most other major sports in that contracts between the National Football League and the game’s broadcaster won’t keep users from watching. Partnerships with Verizon and CBS Sports will let anyone watch the game from wherever they are in the United States.
Here’s how to watch Super Bowl 50 on your Windows notebook, desktop or tablet.
National broadcasters pay for the rights to broadcast each year’s Super Bowl, giving the NFL the biggest reach possible in America, where paid television is popular, but not more popular than going without cable altogether. Make no mistake, if you’re planning to watch Super Bowl 50, CBS is hoping that you’ll tune in on your television.
That being said, some Americans don’t have a television at all. Those that do have a television often don’t have it connected to digital antenna to watch broadcast television. Instead, they have a set-top box that sits beside TV and provides streaming video content. That’s where the CBS Sports apps and service come in.
CBS Sports is a free service available online and on mobile devices. The service will broadcast the entirety of Super Bowl 50, from kick-off to confetti-filled awards ceremony, on Sunday.
On Windows 10 & Windows 8
CBS Sports on Windows will let users watch Super Bowl 50 live, the app already features score updates and news about the big game. It’s absolutely free to download from the Windows Store. You can also keep the NFL on Windows app open for the latest highlights and coverage directly from the league itself. That app is free too, but won’t have livestreaming video of the game.
Note that the official NFL app is only for users with Windows 10 installed on their devices. It’s probably not a good idea to download the free Windows 10 update just to get your hands on the NFL on Windows app that the operating system offers. If you’re planning on making the upgrade anyway, now is an excellent time to do it, though won’t get anything besides highlights, clips and extended written coverage. CBS Sports works on Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.
Windows 7 and Windows Vista
Only Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 users have access to Microsoft’s Windows Store. That doesn’t mean that those with older versions of Windows can’t enjoy the game.
CBS Sports will also stream the game live directly through its website at CBSSports.com. There you’ll also be able to watch the commentary before and after the Broncos/Panthers showdown.
The trick here is that you’ll need a browser current enough and video plugin to support the stream. We don’t yet know what plugin the stream will use this year. It’s not a bad idea to try the stream during the pre-show to make sure that you have a browser that works with the stream and the right plugins. This gives you time to fix everything before kick-off should issues arise. Modern versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome should do fine. Microsoft Edge, the browser included in Windows 10, has all sorts of issues, so don’t count on using it to stream from the website, if you’re determined to not download the free CBS Sports app for whatever reason.
Before The Game
Before the game, remember to test your respective Windows device to make sure everything is working for your Super Bowl 50 stream. Also, note that streaming online video has a heavy bandwidth burden.
Don’t tether your Windows device to a smartphone or tablet to use its internet access for the stream. You want the greatest fidelity possible and that requires a very good connection and a relatively large data plan. Most data plans – even when sharing a connection to a Windows notebook – don’t offer unlimited connectivity. This game is going to be long, you don’t want to kill your data allotment for the entire month of February just trying to watch.
You don’t really want to be downloading large files over your network while trying to tune into the stream either. For the best results, connect your Windows PC directly to your router if that’s possible. It’s not a bad idea to connect to your PC to a television or large monitor with an HDMI cable, if you have the necessary connections.
Good luck watching Super Bowl 50 on your Windows device. The game starts on February 7th at 6:30 PM Eastern Standard Time.