To no surprise, Nickelodeon will broadcast another kids-themed NFL broadcast for a Wild Card playoff game this season.
As reported by Sports Business Journal, CBS Sports president Sean McManus made the announcement on Wednesday during the network’s NFL media day. Furthermore, CBS is also negotiating with the NFL for the rights to more games for broadcast on Nickelodeon in the future.
“You’ll see some more amazing graphics and other interstitials that will make that one of the most entertaining broadcasts of the year,” said McManus (via SBJ).
Nickelodeon’s telecast of the NFL Wild Card Playoff game between the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints this past January was a success among media and fans with its lighter, less football-intense commentary along with animated graphics like slime cannons, pulsing first-down lines, exploding clouds, and googly eyes on players.
VIRTUAL SLIME CANNONS ON A TD pic.twitter.com/JuzPpIySL2
— CJ Fogler #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) January 10, 2021
Most importantly, the broadcast drew strong ratings for Nickelodeon. The audience of more than 2 million viewers was the largest for the network in the past four years. (The Bears-Saints game drew a total audience of 30.65 million between CBS and Nickelodeon.)
Noah Eagle called play-by-play with analysis from Nate Burleson and Nickelodeon star Gabrielle Nevaeh Green. No word on whether or not the same trio will broadcast this season’s game. Eagle will be calling some SEC college football games for CBS, while Burleson is joining the revamped CBS Mornings as co-host. But the crew did such a good job in selling the game to a younger audience that it’s difficult to imagine CBS wouldn’t want the three on the Nickelodeon broadcast again.
Young Sheldon explaining a false start for Nickelodeon viewers: pic.twitter.com/NMzrEv3xLg
— The IC Workstation (@ClippelBoardy) January 10, 2021
Even Saints coach Sean Payton got into the spirit of the evening, letting himself be slimed after the game. (Would he have done so had New Orleans not won the game handily, 21-9? Oh… probably not.)
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) January 11, 2021
CBS won’t produce any other alternate broadcasts for its NFL coverage this season (though games will be simulcast on the Paramount+ streaming service), but both the network and the league want more games on Nickelodeon.
“It’s a demographic and an audience that the NFL wants to reach,” McManus added. “They saw how incredibly effective Nickelodeon can be with reaching that audience. It wouldn’t surprise me if there is more cooperation between Nick and the NFL.”