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A Look at NFL Social Video Trends Ahead of the Super Bowl

Tom Brady (12) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during a Monday Night Football game
Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV, Feb. 7, 2021 (Image credit: Allen Kee / ESPN Images)

The biggest TV event of the year is almost upon us: Super Bowl LV. And while it will look a little different this year due to the ongoing pandemic, it’ll hopefully deliver a dose of normality and escapism to football fans — and Super Bowl commercial fans — across the country. 

As you’d expect, conversation around the NFL and Super Bowl have been exploding over the last month. Tubular Labs has been tracking trends around social video, and since Nov. 6 there have been 424 million YouTube views around Super Bowl-related content, with Jan. 25 seeing the largest spike in views on the platform, 12.6 million. 

Looking at Super Bowl-related YouTube videos uploaded in the last 90 days, Budweiser’s “Bigger Picture” (scroll below to watch some of the videos listed) ad is No. 1 with 9.9 million views to date, followed by Pepsi’s teaser for its halftime show starring The Weeknd (5.8 million views). 

Also Read: Nickelodeon Suits Up for Super Bowl Pre-Game Show

Given that CBS is broadcasting the Big Game this year, we took a closer look at how ViacomCBS has been leveraging its various YouTube properties to share news and spark excitement.

Per Tubular, YouTube has been a key platform for ViacomCBS in general: In the last 30 days, it’s generated 4.7 billion views for the parent company’s various properties. Taking a step back to the playoffs, ViacomCBS didn’t miss a chance to get younger audiences excited about football. It aired its Wild Card game on Nickelodeon, complete with on-screen filters including hamburgers, clouds and slime cannons. Apparently it was a touchdown, too: CBS Sports said the matchup between the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints was Nickelodeon’s most-watched program in nearly four years with an average of 2.06 million viewers.

On the social video side of things, “Nickelodeon’s Guide to Football” was posted to YouTube a few days before the game, explaining in simple terms how the sport works. It’s generated 44.7K views so far, 14.5K of which occurred in the first three days, according to Tubular. Nickelodeon went back to YouTube on Jan. 15 to share highlights from the Wild Card game in a video that’s received 22.1K views — 9K in the first three days and 14.3K within the first week of being posted. Even more popular was a video, posted by CBS’ Inside Edition, of the New Orleans Saints head coach getting slimed after winning the game (78.3K views, 56K in the first day).

Also Read: Streamer 'Crafts' Super Bowl Alternative

How else has ViacomCBS harnessed social video around the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl? It’s shared breaking news across its multiple properties, allowing it to capture the attention of a variety of audiences. Notably, Viacom shows The Daily Show With Trevor Noah (Comedy Central) and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (CBS) have attracted top view-counts for NFL and Super Bowl-related content in the last month. One of the top videos, with 639K views less than a week after being posted, was an interview between Trevor Noah and Amanda Gorman, the poet set to appear during the Super Bowl (who also read her work at President Biden’s inauguration). 

Another popular video came from The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, in which he talks about how Mahomes vs. Brady is a “Super Bowl matchup for the ages.” It’s generated 359K views since being posted on Jan. 26, over half of which occurred within one day of posting, per Tubular.  

CBS Sports HQ, the network’s streaming video sports channel, is another ViacomCBS property that’s racking up views around NFL content. Out of the top 10 YouTube videos from ViacomCBS uploaded since Jan. 8, CBS Sports HQ owns five of them.