When the NFL added two more playoff games to their Wild Card Weekend slate this season by expanding the playoffs to 14 teams, it set up the opportunity to get their TV partners to bid on the rights to two additional playoff games.
One of those games is headed to CBS, which will stream the game on CBS All Access and also do a simulcast on Nickelodeon that will be a “kid-themed” broadcast. That was previously announced, but we got more details on what that will entail on Tuesday, when CBS announced how the game will look different on Nick, with superimposed slime in the end zones on touchdowns, much more colorful graphics, various filters like googly eyes on replays, and, of course, plenty of SpongeBob SquarePants.
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) December 15, 2020
The pregame show will be a SpongeBob special, hosted by Von Miller of the Broncos, with play-by-play duties handled by a booth with Noah Eagle, Nate Burleson, and Gabrielle Nevaeh Green, with Lex Lumpkin as a reporter during the game. CBS ran a test run of their Nick broadcast during Eagles-Packers earlier this year to iron out the kinks and figure out the timing of getting Nick graphics and all of the filtered replays back to the truck from Nick Studios and are apparently pleased with how that went.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of audience the Nickelodeon broadcast is able to pull in, as the NFL is clearly trying to open itself up to a very different and much younger audience. If this is successful, you can expect this to not just be a one-time deal and might become a more regular setup going forward in CBS and the NFL’s partnership.