The NFL’s teams officially expanded the playoffs for the upcoming 2020 season to 14 games on Tuesday, completing the final step of the measure that was put in place by the new CBA.
As such, 14 teams (seven from each conference) will now make the playoffs and the Wild Card Round will expand from four to six games, with only the top seed in each conference earning a bye. The games will now be played in a triple-header on both Saturday and Sunday, which means more football for CBS and NBC, who pick up those two additional games in January. CBS will take the extra game on Sunday, but they won’t be the only network carrying the broadcast.
The NFL announced they would be adding a kids-focused broadcast that would simulcast the game on Nickelodeon in an effort to draw in a younger audience to football, in an announcement that caused many to double check that this was still March 31 and not April Fool’s Day.
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) March 31, 2020
Tucked within the NFL announcement of two additional playoff games is that one of those games will be broadcast on CBS but also on Nickelodeon, with a separately produced telecast geared toward a younger audience.
— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) March 31, 2020
The details on the Nickelodeon broadcast are scarce, but we can only hope they lean into it and have, like, a guy in a Spongebob costume handling sideline interviews and some Nickelodeon star in the booth — my first inclination was to say put Keenan and Kel in the booth and then I remembered I am old and that wouldn’t be a draw to young kids but instead people in their late-20s and 30s. Maybe the losing coach gets slimed, too. The possibilities here are endless.
In any case, it’ll be fascinating to see what a kids football broadcast looks like — one would assume it will be more discussion and explanation of the basics of what’s going on — and if the NFL sees success, one would think they’ll push for more cross-platform broadcasts.