Fifa World Cup 2022: Why football livestreams lag and how to fix them

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Football fans have shared their frustration over lags in livestreams while watching the 2022 Fifa World Cup.

BBC iPlayer suffered technical issues on Monday at the start of the England v Iran game, with some reporting delays of about 90 seconds or the app crashing entirely.

Unfortunately, fans using streaming services to watch the World Cup will always face greater delays than those viewing terrestrial or satelite broadcasts.

Some fans took to social media to share their annoyance about BBC iPlayer problems.

One tweeted: “Why’s there such a delay with watching the World Cup on UHD through the iPlayer? @BBCiPlayer a little bit annoying to say the least.”

Another person added: “Your World Cup delay is outrageous! Fix this!”

A third fan said: “Ignoring about everything else I’ve banged on about regarding the World Cup, it doesn’t half expose how bad international streaming delays are when you think Bale has scored three separate times in five minutes based on your timeline.”

Why are livestreams delayed?

When watching Monday’s World Cup match, you might have noticed your neighbours cheering seconds before England scored.

There are many factors that might affect your streaming quality, including slow wi-fi speeds and your device’s processing power.

Unlike satellite or terrestrial broadcasts, where you receive a signal from a transmitter or satellite straight to your home’s aerial or dish, a livestream must pass through different parts of the internet to the device you are watching on.

Your device may also be trying to do multiple tasks at once which can cause buffering. Delays up to 120 seconds are considered normal.

Other issues such as wi-fi inteference, network connectivity and a large number of viewers trying to watch the livestream at once can impact your viewing experience.

If you want to reduce delays while watching a match, you could consider instead watching though terrestrial, satellite or cable services.