Nickelodeon Taps SpongeBob, Patrick Star to Call Super Bowl LVIII

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Nickelodeon‘s Super Bowl booth is going to get really animated on Game Day.

The Paramount Global kids-focused outlet plans to offer a simulcast of Super Bowl LVIII aimed at children and families while corporate cousin CBS broadcasts the more traditional version of the pigskin extravaganza. And while Nickelodeon will rely on sportscasters Nate Burleson and Noah Eagle to call the game, it will also tap the expertise of SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star. Those two cartoon mainstays — voiced by Tom Kenny and Bill Fagerbakke, respectively — will help relay the action to viewers during Nickelodeon’s Super Bowl event.

Others will also join in. Sandy Cheeks, voiced by Carolyn Lawrence, will hold forth from the sidelines, while Larry the Lobster, also voiced by Lawrence will provide live commentary. Dora the Explorer, voiced by Diana Zermeño, and Boots, voiced by Asher Colton Spence, will explain penalty calls when they arise. Young Dylan and Dylan Schefter from Nickelodeon’s “NFL Slimetime” will also report from the game, which is being held at Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium.

Burleson and Eagle will get a warm-up of sorts on Christmas Day, when they help Nickelodeon telecast a bespoke “Nickmas” version of a CBS holiday football broadcast. They will be assisted by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Raphael and Donatello.

The animated characters may have taken over for a human member of the Nickelodeon team. Gabrielle Nevaeh Green, an actor affiliated with Nickelodeon shows such as the recent revival of “All That” and “That Girl Lay Lay,” is at present not scheduled to take to the booth with Burleson and Eagle, a role she had held in previous Nickelodeon NFL broadcasts for post-season.

Nickelodeon’s Super Bowl efforts represent one of the biggest plays by the NFL to reach new audiences. The league has experimented with a variety of so-called “alternate telecasts” of football games in recent years. ESPN’s “ManningCast” features football greats Peyton and Eli Manning in a loose-talking conversation that might be held at a local bar. Disney’s Freeform in 2021 once tried an NFL Wild Card game aimed at teens and young adults that had stars from its series mixing it up with then-ESPN personalities Maria Taylor and Jesse Palmer.

But the Super Bowl is the league’s biggest property, and it’s clear that, like other big content purveyors, the NFL sees a potential opportunity to expand its already large audience by creating a different version of the event for viewers who might not normally tune in to see it. The number of bespoke events created around NFL games has increased along with the price paid for the rights by Paramount, Comcast, Disney, Fox and Amazon. The NFL backed a new “Black Friday” post-Thanksgiving game for Amazon, which streams “Thursday Night Football,” and Jimmy Pitaro, the Disney executive who oversees ESPN, has suggested the company might show multiple telecasts of the Super Bowl when its rights to do so kick in during 2026.

Nickelodeon has broadcast kids’ versions of Wild Card games, and last year launched its “Nickmas” concept. In past games, graphics told kids about the players’ favorite ice cream flavors or explained an interception or an extra point.

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