The broadcast will mark the first-ever Super Bowl alternative telecast
By Jason Dachman, Chief Editor
Tuesday, August 1, 2023 – 9:54 am
CBS Sports and Nickelodeon are bringing the slime to Super Bowl LVIII. In what will be the first-ever Super Bowl alternative telecast, Nickelodeon will present a kids- and family-centric presentation of Super Bowl LVIII while the primary broadcast airs on CBS. This marks the fourth iteration of Nickelodeon’s Emmy-winning AR-fueled alternative presentation, following the 2022 NFL Nickmas Game on Christmas, the 2022 NFL Wild Card Game, and 2021 NFL Wild Card Game. Nickelodeon will deploy the NFL Nickmas Game format in December for the Las Vegas Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs matchup.
“This will be a historic Super Bowl in Las Vegas,” says Paramount President/CEO Bob Bakish. “We’re thrilled to partner with the NFL to bring the game to the whole family with the first-ever alternate telecast of the Super Bowl. In year one of our new long-term deal with the NFL, we continue to maximize our expanded distribution rights and further unlock the value of the league through the demonstrated power of our multi-platform portfolio across CBS, Paramount+, and Nickelodeon.”
Says NFL EVP, Media Distribution, Hans Schroeder, “We’re thrilled to partner with CBS Sports and Nickelodeon to present the first alternate telecast of the Super Bowl. Our previous telecasts on Nickelodeon have been huge hits and created a new and different way to experience an NFL game. We’re excited to bring that creativity to Super Bowl LVIII and give our fans another way to enjoy one of the world’s most popular sporting events.”
The alternative telecast of Super Bowl LVIII will be driven by a surfeit of enhanced graphics and augmented-reality elements featuring Nickelodeon characters and the network’s signature green slime. In past years, the AR graphics were created in collaboration with Silver Spoon, leveraging Unreal Engine to create real-time AR animations and graphics. During last year’s Nickmas game, CBS Sports, Nickelodeon, and Silver Spoon used Pixotope virtual-production software to create the in-game elements and deployed an infrastructure comprising 12 primary/backup servers with a cavalcade of NVIDIA RTX A6000 GPUs to drive the system. Among other key technology vendors were SMT, Stype, and Second Spectrum.
Using this setup, the production team integrated eye-popping virtual elements into the broadcast: the now iconic slime cannons and slime-dumping blimp, Christmas- and winter-themed characters on the field, a yeti dumping snow on the crowd, a Hannukah-themed car race above the field. Another highlight featured a live interview with SpongeBob SquarePants’ best friend Patrick Star using a facial-capture system worn by voice-actor Bill Fagerbakke.
In previous years, CBS Sports’ and Nickelodeon’s family-friendly telecasts during the NFL’s Super Wild Card Weekend earned two Sports Emmy Awards in the categories of Outstanding Playoff Coverage and Outstanding Live Graphic Design. Additional details on the Nickelodeon Super Bowl telecast — programming, production, announcers — will be revealed later.
“We are unbelievably proud to partner with CBS Sports and the NFL to bring Nick’s personality and unique visual sensibility to the Super Bowl,” says Brian Robbins, president/CEO, Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon; chief content officer, Movies & Kids & Family, Paramount+. “As we’ve shown with our prior zeitgeist-busting Wild Card and Nickmas coverage, combining the absolute excitement of NFL action with the creativity that can come only from Nickelodeon’s cool POV makes for a must-see event for kids and families everywhere.”
Says CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus, “We are excited to expand this extremely successful partnership between CBS Sports, Nickelodeon, and the NFL for television’s biggest stage at Super Bowl LVIII. There is nobody more suited than our CBS Sports production team, in conjunction with our friends at Nickelodeon, to deliver an innovative and slime-filled Nick-ified telecast for kids and family, alongside our industry-leading NFL production on CBS, to create a truly unique viewing experience and broaden the reach of the Super Bowl to a new legion of fans.”
As part of the NFL and Paramount’s continued focus on international growth, the Super Bowl Nickelodeon telecast will be distributed in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand on a delayed basis; details will be announced soon.
The Nickelodeon Super Bowl telecast and Nickelodeon NFL Nickmas Game are produced by CBS Sports in association with Nickelodeon Productions. McManus and CBS Sports EVP, Production, Harold Bryant serve as executive producers of The NFL on CBS, and CBS Sports Executive Producer Shawn Robbins is coordinating producer of the games.
Besides the Nick-ified telecast exclusively on Nickelodeon, Paramount’s multi-platform coverage of Super Bowl LVIII will feature CBS Sports’ presentation on the CBS Television Network, which will stream on Paramount+ and on mobile with NFL+.