Super Bowl 2024: How to Watch, Stream Chiefs vs. 49ers Today for Free on CBS With or Without Cable
The Super Bowl is today with Usher at halftime and Taylor Swift potentially arriving in time for kickoff. You can watch it all on CBS or Paramount Plus.
Matt ElliottSenior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
Expertise5G, mobile networks, wireless carriers, phones, tablets, streaming devices, streaming platforms, mobile and console gaming,
It's almost here. We are only a few hours away from the Super Bowl when the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers will meet in Las Vegas to play for the NFL title.
Super Bowl 58 will be a rematch of the 2020 Super Bowl, which the Chiefs won 31-20 after being down 20-10 at the start of the fourth quarter. It was the first Super Bowl title for quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who led the team to another trophy last year. The Chiefs are looking to be the first repeat NFL champions since the New England Patriots won back-to-back titles in 2004 and 2005. The 49ers haven't been to a Super Bowl since losing to the Chiefs in 2020 and haven't won a title since 1995.
Stars will be on display, including Taylor Swift possibly flying from a concert in Tokyo to Las Vegas in time to support the Chiefs and her boyfriend Travis Kelce. The 49ers may not have the star power at quarterback and tight end of the Chiefs, but Niners QB Brock Purdy has been solid in leading the team to the Super Bowl. Purdy is directing Kyle Shanahan's offense with precision and has weapons all over the field. Those weapons start with running back Christian McCaffrey alongside him in the backfield and include receiving threats in tight end George Kittle and wideouts Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk.
If you have questions leading up to Super Bowl 58, we have answers.
Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. PT (6:30 p.m. ET; 5:30 CT, 4:30 p.m. MT).
If you want to watch live from elsewhere in the world, it'll likely be at an inconvenient time. The Super Bowl start time is 11:30 p.m. in the UK, 3:30 a.m. in the United Arab Emirates and 10:30 a.m. AEDT on Monday in Australia. Click here to see what time kickoff is in your time zone.
What channel is the Super Bowl on?
Super Bowl LVIII will be broadcast live in the US on CBS and streamed on Paramount Plus. The CBS channel is available on cable TV, as well as via live TV streaming services.
If you live in the US in an area with good reception, you can watch the broadcast on CBS for free over the air just by attaching an affordable (under $30) indoor antenna to nearly any TV.
You can also watch a Spanish-language broadcast on Univision and a kid-friendly version on Nickelodeon.
Can I stream the Super Bowl for free?
Yes, you can. As Paramount Plus is one of the few remaining streaming services with a one-week free trial, you'll be able to try out the service to stream the game and then, should you not want to keep it after the Super Bowl, cancel the trial with no harm done.
Is there a streaming lag when watching the Super Bowl?
Yes. When streaming the Super Bowl you should expect to lag behind the action on cable, social media and sports betting apps. Based on previous years, streaming services lag around 40 seconds behind what's on the field. Compare that with cable, satellite or antenna TV, where the time gap from on-field action is significantly smaller. It's usually a transmission delay of about 5 seconds, which allows broadcasters to prevent unsavory content from appearing on TV.
Streaming services like Paramount Plus, YouTube TV, DirecTV Stream, Fubo and others may have additional latency delays on top of that. For the fastest feed, your best bet is likely a traditional cable or satellite service, or an antenna.
As mentioned, Paramount Plus also works for getting the game without requiring a pricier service; the base Essential package is just $6 per month -- not to mention that free trial for those who only care about football.
Yes: CBS will broadcast the Super Bowl in 4K HDR, assuming you have the proper setup. To get the game in its best resolution, you'll need service from a company that offers 4K broadcasts (DirecTV, Dish, Comcast, Optimum and Verizon Fios are some traditional cable/satellite companies that offer 4K, as noted by the TV Answer Man) or a 4K-capable plan on a streaming service like YouTube TV or Fubo.
The best you'll get from Paramount Plus is the 1080p HDR feed. CBS Sports confirmed to CNET that it isn't streaming the Super Bowl in 4K on the streaming service.
Usher will headline the Super Bowl halftime show. The 45-year-old R&B superstar is no stranger to Las Vegas, having just completed a 100-show residency at the Park MGM casino.
There are also pregame festivities. Before kickoff, Reba McEntire will sing the national anthem, and Post Malone will perform America the Beautiful.
Will Taylor Swift be at the Super Bowl?
Pop icon Taylor Swift, who's dating Chiefs tight end Kelce, will need to hustle if she plans to attend the Super Bowl in Las Vegas.
Swift kicked off the international dates of The Eras Tour in Tokyo last Wednesday and plays four straight nights with the last show happening Saturday night. That might make it seem impossible for her to get to the Super Bowl tomorrow in time, but the time zones work in her favor.
Tokyo is 17 hours ahead of Las Vegas. That means her concert on Saturday night in Tokyo ended in the early morning hours of Saturday in Las Vegas time. It takes roughly 12 and a half hours to fly from Tokyo to Las Vegas, which could put Swift in Las Vegas on the morning of the game tomorrow.
Her next tour date isn't until Friday, Feb. 16, in Melbourne, Australia.
Who's calling the game?
CBS's lead team of Jim Nantz and Tony Romo will be in the broadcast booth, with Tracy Wolfson and Evan Washburn reporting from the sidelines.
Which teams are playing in the Super Bowl?
The Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers are playing in Super Bowl 58. The Chiefs are the AFC champions, and the 49ers are the champs of the NFC.
Who is the home team in the Super Bowl?
The Super Bowl is held at a neutral site and the NFL alternates who is designated as the home team between the AFC and NFC each year. The AFC is the home team this year, which means you'll likely see the Chiefs wearing their home red uniforms and the 49ers in their away whites.
Who's favored to win Super Bowl 58?
The 49ers are favored to win, which puts the defending champion Chiefs in the unusual role of underdog. As of Saturday morning, the Niners are 1.5-point favorites over the Chiefs, according to FanDuel.
Other odds that might interest you if you plan to wager on the game:
Moneyline: 49ers (-124), Chiefs (+106)
For Super Bowl MVP, Patrick Mahomes is the favorite to win the award at +145 followed by Brock Purdy (+210), Christian McCaffrey (+460), Travis Kelce (+1,400) and Deebo Samuel (+2,600). Mahomes was named Super Bowl MVP in each of the Chiefs' two previous victories.
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What are my Super Bowl viewing options outside the US?
International viewers should check their local listings to determine the best local option to watch or stream the Super Bowl. In the UK, for example, the game will be broadcast on ITV and Sky Sports. In Canada, you'll be able to watch the broadcast on CTV or TSN, depending on your location, or the French-language broadcast on RDS. Canadians can also watch the game on the DAZN streaming service.
On Monday morning in Australia, the Super Bowl will be broadcast live on Channel 7 and 7mate, as well as the 7plus VOD service.
How to use a VPN to watch the Super Bowl from anywhere
What if you're traveling outside your home country and want to enjoy the big game, or just want an added layer of privacy for streaming? There is an option that doesn't require searching the internet for a sketchy website: You can use a VPN, or virtual private network.
With a VPN, you're able to virtually change your location on your phone, tablet or laptop to get access to the game, which comes in handy if you find yourself unable to view the game locally. A VPN is the best way to stop your ISP from throttling your speeds on game day by encrypting your traffic. Using a VPN is also a great idea if you're traveling and find yourself connected to a Wi-Fi network, and you want to add an extra layer of privacy for your devices and logins.
If you can't find a convenient opportunity to watch the game where you live, using a VPN with a US-based server should provide access to some or all of the streaming options listed below. Most VPNs, like our Editors' Choice, ExpressVPN, make it really easy to do this.
Using a VPN to watch or stream sports is legal in any country where VPNs are legal, as long as you've got a legitimate subscription to the service you're streaming. You should be sure your VPN is set up correctly to prevent leaks: Even where VPNs are legal, the streaming service may terminate the account of anyone it deems to be circumventing correctly applied blackout restrictions. See our list of best VPNs for more and check out other great VPN deals taking place right now.
YouTube TV costs $73 a month and includes CBS. Plug in your ZIP code on its welcome page to see which local networks are available in your area. To watch the game in 4K resolution, you'll need the 4K Plus add-on. It costs $10 a month, and there's a free, 30-day trial.
Hulu Plus Live TV costs $77 a month and includes CBS in most markets. On its live news page, you can enter your ZIP code under the "Can I watch local news in my area?" question at the bottom of the page to see which local channels you get.
If you're looking for a secure and dependable VPN, check out our Editors' Choice: ExpressVPN. It's fast, works on multiple devices and provides stable streams. It's normally $13 a month, but it currently costs less overall to go for a 12-month subscription, where each month shakes out to $8.32.
Note that ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Quick tips for streaming Super Bowl 2024 using a VPN
With four variables at play -- your ISP, browser, video streaming provider and VPN -- experience and success may vary.
If you don't see your desired location as a default option for ExpressVPN, try using the "search for city or country" option.
If you're having trouble getting the game after you've turned on your VPN and set it to the correct viewing area, there are two things you can try for a quick fix. First, log into your streaming service subscription account and make sure the address registered for the account is an address in the correct viewing area. If not, you may need to change the physical address on file with your account. Second, some smart TVs -- like Roku -- don't have VPN apps you can install directly on the device itself. Instead, you'll have to install the VPN on your router or the mobile hotspot you're using (like your phone) so that any device on its Wi-Fi network now appears in the correct viewing location.
All of the VPN providers we recommend have helpful instructions on their main site for quickly installing the VPN on your router. In some cases with smart TV services, after you install a cable network's sports app, you'll be asked to verify a numeric code or click a link sent to your email address on file for your smart TV. This is where having a VPN on your router will also help since both devices will appear to be in the correct location.
And remember, browsers can often give away a location despite using a VPN, so be sure you're using a privacy-first browser to log into your services. We normally recommend Brave.