- ViacomCBS owned cable broadcaster Nickelodeon will air additional NFL football programming in 2021.
- Nickelodeon will launch a weekly football highlights show beginning on September 15.
- The network will also broadcast a NFL wildcard playoff game in January.
One of the best things to come out of the COVID-19 ravaged 2020 NFL football season was the league’s inspired collaboration with the Nickelodeon cable network. Nickelodeon broadcast the New Orleans Saints vs. Chicago Bears wild card game complete with plenty of slime and plenty of Spongebob. The broadcast pulled very strong ratings and was extremely enjoyable–even for adults.
Nickelodeon is doubling down on their NFL programming this year. They’ll reprise the wild card game broadcast this season on January 16, 2022 but that’s not all–they’re going to produce a weekly football highlights show called NFL Slimetime.
Here’s some of the particulars of the NFL Slimetime format:
NFL Slimetime will air at 7 p.m. Wednesdays, with CBS Mornings anchor and former NFL player Nate Burleson and Nick star Young Dylan will host, with teenage sports reporter Dylan Schefter (the daughter of ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter) serving as correspondent. The half-hour show will “Nick-ified” highlights and game footage, segments spotlighting youth football, interviews with players and appearances by other Nickelodeon personalities.
Burleson did commentary for Nickelodeon’s alternate telecast of a CBS wild card game in January, which drew better than 2 million viewers — making it the most watched program on Nick in nearly four years.
Brian Robbins, president and CEO of Nickelodeon and chief content officer of kids and family for Paramount+, said that the network’s NFL wild card coverage was (literally) a ‘game changer’:
“Our coverage of the NFL wild Card game was literally a game-changer in so many ways, and the sensational response absolutely proved there’s huge demand for sports content with the kind of kids and family point of view that only Nickelodeon can deliver. In this next stage of our tremendous partnership with the NFL and CBS Sports, we’re going to raise the bar again and help innovate sports programming to bring the whole family together for one-of-a-kind viewing experiences.”
CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus is hoping that kids who find NFL football via Nickelodeon’s offerings will become life long fans:
“Together with Nickelodeon, CBS Sports is cultivating the next generation of NFL fans. Our inaugural NFL wild card game on Nickelodeon was an outstanding display of the power and the ability of ViacomCBS to continue to reach broader and younger audiences. We are thrilled to team up with the NFL and Nickelodeon this season, offering kids and families a full season of unique and unparalleled NFL content, including our second edition of the NFL wild card game on Nickelodeon.”
NFL Media executive vp and chief operating officer Hans Schroeder added his thoughts:
“We are excited to continue our partnership with CBS Sports and Nickelodeon to present our game and content to young NFL fans and their families. Nickelodeon’s unique presentation of last year’s wild card game was a success, and we look forward to another playoff broadcast this year and a new weekly show for families to enjoy.”
As of this writing, Nickelodeon hasn’t announced their ‘Official Sports Betting Partner’.