NFL Announces Expanded Playoffs, Adds Nickelodeon Broadcast for 'Younger Audience'

The NFL's Annual League Meeting was scheduled for March but was canceled in light of the COVID-19 [...]

The NFL's Annual League Meeting was scheduled for March but was canceled in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. Despite the cancellation, the owners voted in an expanded playoff system, which has been rumored for months. There will now be 14 teams eligible for the postseason, starting with the 2020 season.

According to the NFL's announcement, there will now be two additional games played during Wild Card weekend. CBS and NBC will broadcast these matchups both on their broadcast networks and on their streaming platforms, CBS All Access and Peacock. There will also be another broadcast option, which was briefly mentioned in the NFL's announcement. There will be games airing on Nickelodeon, but these will be tailored to a younger audience, which is only creating questions about how this change will work.

"Lets go to our rules expert now, SpongeBob SquarePants," one Twitter user wrote after hearing about the Nickelodeon games. There were many questions about whether the specific broadcast would be goofier in tone or if the rules would be explained in simpler terms.

"Spongebob and Patrick finna call a playoff game," another fan commented on Twitter. There were several interested parties wondering how Nickelodeon would handle the play-by-play duties. Would they use cartoon characters, or would they simply opt for those announcers that are ridiculed? Some users specifically mentioned ESPN's Booger McFarland and CBS' Phil Simms while talking about how referees and announcers alike should be "slimed."

The answers about the Nickelodeon broadcast are unknown, but this topic became more of a talking point than the actual expansion of the playoffs. It didn't matter to some football fans that two extra teams would be eligible for postseason action; whether or not Gary from SpongeBob SquarePants was the sideline reporter was a more pressing issue.

Adding two more playoff teams to increase the number to 14 means 43.7 percent of all NFL teams would qualify for the postseason. Only 33.3 percent of MLB teams make the playoffs. More than half of the NHL (51.6) and the NBA (53.3) make their respective postseasons.

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