SpongeBob SquarePants is going to announce this Super Bowl broadcast

Feb 6, 2024, 2:57 PM

Super Bowl LVIII Live from Bikini Bottom will feature SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star live i...

Super Bowl LVIII Live from Bikini Bottom will feature SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star live in the booth alongside CBS Sports’ Nate Burleson and play-by-play announcer Noah Eagle. Mandatory Credit: CBS Sport/Paramount

New York (CNN) — Football’s youngest fans will be able to watch Super Bowl LVIII announced by SpongeBob SquarePants and the rest of the gang from Bikini Bottom.

Nickelodeon and CBS Sports announced the first-ever alternate telecast for the Super Bowl, which will air on the kid’s television channel on Sunday, February 11, when the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers kick off in Las Vegas. Paramount Global is the parent company of both CBS Sports and Nickelodeon.

The telecast combines animation and graphics with a traditional game-day telecast.

Characters from the cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants will join the telecast live. For example, an animated Sandy Cheeks (voiced by Carolyn Lawrence) is shown on the sidelines of a real-life football field in promotional photos.

SpongeBob SquarePants (voiced by Tom Kenny) and Patrick Star (voiced by Bill Fagerbakke) will call the game with human CBS Sports analyst Nate Burleson and play-by-play announcer Noah Eagle. Meanwhile, Larry the Lobster (voiced by Mr. Lawrence) will provide live commentary.

Nickelodeon has been airing “NFL Slimetime” since 2021, a weekly show hosted by Nate Burleson, a former football player who is also a co-host of “CBS Mornings,” and child actor Dylan Gilmore. The duo will be reporting live from Allegiant Stadium.

Attracting younger viewers

Nick first ventured into the NFL world in 2021, when it aired a Wild Card playoff game between the New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears. The network said more than 2 million viewers watched the telecast on Nickelodeon, making it Nick’s most-watched program in nearly four years.

The Nick NFL broadcasts seek to appeal to children with exaggerated animations using augmented reality. For example, when a player makes a touchdown, its gigantic green slime cannons go off over the endzone (or what the broadcast calls a “slime zone”).

The kid-focused broadcasts are part of the NFL setting the foundation for its future viewers, members of Gen Z and Gen Alpha. Already, superstar Taylor Swift’s relationship with Chiefs’ tight end Travis Kelce has attracted a more diverse set of viewers — and the kid-friendly broadcast of one of the most well-known sporting events of the year could attract even younger ones.

“Together with Nickelodeon, CBS Sports is cultivating the next generation of NFL fans,” Sean McManus, chairman of CBS Sports, said in a 2021 press release.

Some experts criticized the goofy broadcasts for making light of traumatic brain injury risks to children.

“NFL Nickelodeon broadcast was worse than I expected,” neuroscientist Chris Nowinski, CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, tweeted during the first broadcast between the Saints and Bears.

But fans of the long-running show will recognize a 2001 classic next Sunday — there will be a “Sweet Victory” performance in the Super Bowl telecast.

In the 2019 Super Bowl, halftime act Maroon 5 paid tribute to the song that the SpongeBob characters sang in a 2001 episode (in the episode, the characters of the Bikini Bottom were performing in the Bubble Bowl, a spoof of the Super Bowl.) The tribute followed a 2018 petition by fans demanding “Sweet Victory” at the Super Bowl halftime show racked up more than 1.2 million signatures after the show’s creator Stephen Hillenburg died.

However, the 2019 tribute was just a short animation of SpongeBob characters, introducing rapper Travis Scott for his performance of “Sicko Mode.”

But for Super Bowl 2024’s telecast, CBS Sports teased the performance of the actual song in a video on X last week, saying “you asked for it,” as the song began.

“Victory is yours,” the ad said. “We promise.”

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SpongeBob SquarePants is going to announce this Super Bowl broadcast