NBC and CBS have made their own NFL trade, as the two networks have swapped their upcoming Super Bowls, CBS confirmed.
CBS, which just aired Super Bowl LIII last month, will now air its next Super Bowl on February 2021, a year earlier than scheduled. That means NBC moves back a year to February 2022. There was no monetary compensation between the two networks for the swap.
The switch means that NBC can align its next Super Bowl air-date with its coverage of the 2022 Winter Olympics from Beijing. Those Olympics are scheduled to start on Friday, Feb. 4, 2022, two days before Super Bowl LVI from Los Angeles. Each network gets something out of this: CBS won’t have to air its next Super Bowl against the Winter Olympics, while NBC gets to sell its advertising in one batch for the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics.
NBC had a similar arrangement the last time it aired the Super Bowl. Last year, NBC aired Super Bowl LII four days before its coverage of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. That allowed the advertising sales teams to sell across two high-profile TV events at the same time, which resulted in $1.6 billion in ad revenue.
Super Bowl LIII received 98.2 million viewers on CBS, according to Nielsen, marking the first time since 2009 that the big game hasn’t surpassed 100 million viewers. That TV-only total was down 5 percent from last year’s comparable measurement. When you add in data from multiple streaming platforms, last night’s underwhelming game tallied 100.7 million viewers. That is still down 5 percent from 2018’s comparable figures.
Super Bowl LIV is still scheduled to air on Fox on Feb. 2, 2020, from Miami.
Here’s how the next few years shake out now (the NFL’s current TV rights agreements expire in 2023):
- Super Bowl LIV — Feb. 2, 2020 on Fox
- Super Bowl LV — Feb. 7, 2021 on CBS
- Super Bowl LVI — Feb. 6, 2022 on NBC
- Super Bowl LVII — Feb. 5, 2023 on Fox
The New York Post first reported on the date swap.