ViacomCBS today announced that just over 2 million viewers watched Sunday's NFL wild-card game between the New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears not on CBS and not on CBS All Access — but on Nickelodeon.
The more precise number is 2,061,000 viewers, according to a press release. That's up some 245 percent from the same afternoon window a year ago.
Overall, some 30.653 million viewers watched the game, with the vast majority coming on the more traditional CBS side of the shop. While CBS didn't give actual numbers for viewership on the CBS All Access service — you can watch live CBS feeds if you have a subscription to some other cable or linear streaming service, like YouTube TV or Hulu With Live TV — it did note the weekend's two CBS-broadcast games saw a triple-digit growth in minutes watched, and double-digit growth in streams compared to the wild-card games in 2020. (In other news, more people are streaming in general today than a year ago.)
As we noted during the game, the Nickelodeon feed wasn't just the same thing on a different channel. For one, it had different commentators, with Nate Burleson, Gabrielle Nevaeh Green and Noah Eagle — son of CBS play-by-play broadcast Ian Eagle — in the Nickelodeon-branded booth.
In addition to a different slate of commercials more suited for the Nick audience, there also were on-screen graphics that played to the Nickelodeon crowed in a decidedly more fun manner.
While you'll be able to watch Super Bowl 2021 on CBS, don't look for all the googly eyes and slime during the big game. (You won't find this weekend's Divisional round on Nickelodeon, either.
But that doesn't mean ViacomCBS — which owns both CBS and Nickelodeon — shouldn't continue this sort of outreach. It was a fun watch just as we needed a little more fun. And it definitely exposed a new set to the NFL.
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