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A large number of peer-to-peer streaming systems have been proposed and deployed in recent years. Yet, there is no clear understanding of how these systems scale and how multipath and multihop transmission, properties of all recent systems, affect the quality experienced by the peers. In this paper, we present an analytical study that considers the relationship between delay and loss for general overlays: we study the trade-off between the playback delay and the probability of missing a packet and we derive bounds on the scalability of the systems. We present an exact model of push-based overlays and show that the bounds hold under diverse conditions: in the presence of errors, under node churn, and when using forward error correction and various retransmission schemes.