Nickelodeon’s special broadcast of an NFL playoff game on Sunday was not only a hit on social media. The Chicago Bears-New Orleans Saints matchup drew more than 2 million viewers for the kids-focused network, marking its biggest audience in nearly four years.
On CBS, the game was watched by 28.6 million viewers, bringing the total between the two networks north of 30 million. That made it the most-watched game of the entire weekend, which featured six games for the first time. CBS also aired the Indianapolis Colts-Buffalo Bills game on Saturday afternoon.
The Nickelodeon broadcast featured its own announce team, filled with stars from “All That,” as well as Nick-themed graphics including “Spongebob SquarePants” and that trademark Green Slime.
Some of the differences also included an explanation of NFL rules by “Young Sheldon” star Iain Armitage, and comparisons of Saints quarterback Drew Brees and teammate Taysom Hill to SpongeBob and Patrick. While Nick has ventured into sports in the past with the Kids Choice Sports Awards, this is the first time the network has aired a live pro game.
You can read more about the mostly positive reactions to the telecast here.
This weekend was the first under the NFL’s newly expanded playoff field, which added an additional team to each conference. Saturday and Sunday each featured a triple-header. As the playoffs continue into next weekend, it’s back to two games apiece on Saturday and Sunday for the division round.
Saturday features the Green Bay Packers hosting the Los Angeles Rams on Fox, followed by NBC’s coverage of Baltimore Ravens-Buffalo Bills. On Sunday, CBS will carry Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Cleveland Browns, while Tom Brady leads the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Saints to close out the weekend on Fox.