Viewers looking to stream the Super Bowl took a blindside hit Sunday.
As the Kansas City Chiefs kicked off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday in Tampa, ViacomCBS’ streaming app, CBS All Access, experienced technical issues and outages for customers. According to website DownDetector.com, reports of problems with CBS All Access spiked around 6:30 p.m. ET, just as the game began, then began to taper off within the next 10 minutes. DownDetector recorded 25,100 complaints at 6:27 p.m.
Roku users and desktop users were among those experiencing difficulties. As the volume of viewers increased dramatically around kick off, many viewers found themselves unable to join the stream. Users who were already watching CBS’ live stream experienced no service interruptions. The technical issue was resolved once the game was underway.
A CBS spokesperson declined to comment.
Disgruntled viewers took to Twitter to express their displeasure with the service:
Thanks CBS all access!! pic.twitter.com/qxjJYCVEmC
— Jags (LatentAI) (@javajag) February 7, 2021
*CBS All Access crashes*
Me: what do we do?
Boyfriend: IDK check Twitter
— Danielle Chylinski (@d_chylinski) February 7, 2021
— Tony Morrison • ABC News (@THETonyMorrison) February 7, 2021
Me: *excited to watch the Super Bowl*
CBS All Access: pic.twitter.com/B51SpaXqUd
— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) February 7, 2021
The outage came as ViacomCBS was attempting to use the Super Bowl as a platform to promote the upcoming rebranding of All Access, which launched in 2014, as Paramount Plus. During the first hour of the game, CBS aired a promo for the Paramount Plus relaunch featuring Super Bowl announcers Jim Nantz and Tony Romo as well as Ethan Peck as Miser Spock from the upcoming “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.” Additional ads featured Patrick Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Sonequa Martin-Green and Norah O’Donnell. The Paramount Plus rebrand is scheduled to go into effect March 4.
— Paramount+ (@paramountplus) February 8, 2021
Though the Super Bowl airs on broadcast television, the streaming audience for the annual NFL championship is significant. Last year’s game, according to Fox Sports, averaged 3.4 million digital viewers per minute, up from 2.1 million the year prior.