NBC is looking to extend its digital reach for its Super Bowl LII coverage. That will include utilizing partnerships with Complex and BuzzFeed to produce Super Bowl-related episodes of their Hot Ones and Worth It shows, respectively. Both are food and travel-oriented programs that will have a football theme for the episodes that will air this week before the Eagles and Patriots kick off in Minneapolis.
For those unfamiliar with each show, Complex’s Hot Ones is an interview show (part of the network’s First We Feast site) in which host Sean Evans sits down with celebrities who try 10 chicken wings, each of them doused with an increasingly spicy sauce. Past guests have included wrestler Sasha Banks, actors Terry Crews and Taraji P. Henson, and NBA star Kevin Durant. BuzzFeed’s Worth It follows hosts Steven Lim and Andrew Ilnyckyj traveling to different cities and trying several local foods at different prices. (For instance, a $17 steak vs. a $150 steak.)
The Super Bowl episode of Hot Ones will feature Denver Broncos linebacker (and Super Bowl 50 MVP) Von Miller. It probably wouldn’t have been practical to get a Patriots or Eagles player to endure various hot sauces during the week they’re preparing for the Super Bowl. (Lane Johnson and Rob Gronkowski could’ve been great with this.) A former player from one of the teams might have been fun, but maybe Brian Dawkins or Willie McGinest doesn’t have the profile of Miller, who’s an Old Spice spokesperson and former Dancing with the Stars contestant.
No word on what Worth It has in store for the Super Bowl, though Lim and Ilnyckyj will obviously travel around Minneapolis in search of local food price comparisons.
Both shows will be available on YouTube and other digital platforms before Super Bowl LII on Sunday. The Super Bowl-themed episodes of Hot Ones and Worth It are the latest effort by NBC to create more original social content for the sporting events it will televised. NBC Sports teamed with BuzzFeed to produce digital videos for the Kentucky Derby. BuzzFeed also produced a daily Olympics channel on Snapchat Discover for the Rio Summer Olympics, and something similar will be available during the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
While NBCUniversal is an investor in BuzzFeed, making that partnership a natural, the company has no such agreement with Complex Networks.
NBC will provide plenty of other digital programming on its platforms surrounding Super Bowl LII, sending 10 staffers to create video during the week. Segments will include features on Minnesota’s signature Juicy Lucy burger (with the cheese melted on the inside of the patty), interviews with owners of ice-fishing shacks, and following players riding roller coasters inside the Mall of America.
Some of these features will include NBC Sports talent, such as Sunday Night Football reporter Michelle Tafoya, a Minnesota resident and could be part of the game broadcast. NBC will also have digital staffers inside U.S. Bank Stadium to provide digital content during the game itself.