Since coronavirus safety protocols are keeping most people at home, Super Bowl 55 has turned into even more of a television event, including in host city Tampa. Everything from star-studded pregame shows and after parties to the football game itself will be witnessed by only a small live audience.
Here are some tips on what to look for when, and where to find it. We included some tips on keeping pets calm and how to adjust if you are watching via live stream.
Super Bowl TV schedule
Note: Some times (all EST) are approximate since live sports are unpredictable.
That Other Pregame Show: CBS kicks off its coverage with this quick preview show, which you can watch for free on CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports App on your phone and connected TV devices or with your CBS All Access Subscription. The show features Amy Trask and host Adam Schein, who have been with TOPS, as fans call it, since the show’s 2013 beginnings.
Road to the Super Bowl: One of the most popular features of the day, this is NFL Films’ annual look back at the greatest sights and sounds of the 2020 NFL season. It will feature the best of nearly 125 players and coaches wired for sound during the games, so you can hear the trash talk that went on during the march to the Super Bowl. CBS
Tony Goes to the Super Bowl: CBS’ lead analyst Tony Romo lands in Tampa and talks with Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson as they share their memories of the big game. CBS
Super Bowl Today: The CBS show runs from 2-6 p.m. and will originate live from Tampa. James Brown, Boomer Esiason, Bill Cowher, Phil Simms and Nate Burleson, along with Ian Eagle and Charles Davis, will provide commentary and previews leading up to kickoff.
Miley Cyrus will perform at the first TikTok Tailgate at 2:30 p.m., the NFL’s pregame event in the Raymond James parking lot for the 7,500 inoculated healthcare workers who were given free tickets. Her performance will be streamed live on TikTok starting at 2:30 p.m. and shown on CBS.
Shaquille O’Neal offers an alternative pre-game show that you can see online starting at 3 p.m. Broadcasting live from Tampa in a custom-built SHAQ Bowl stadium, the new event will feature professional athletes and celebrities set up as two teams competing in silly challenges like dodgeball and tug-of-war to win the first-ever SHAQ Bowl Trophy. The former NBA star said “all the Super Bowl pre-game stuff is kinda boring ... so we’re gonna change the game.” The lineup includes former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, Black-ish Anthony Anderson, wrestler Drew McIntyre and rappers Nelly and Offset on Team Tampa Bay; and Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, media personality Olivia Culpo, DJ Diplo, rapper Quavo, television personality Steve-O and wrestler The Miz on Team Kansas City.
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During the event, Pepsi will run the “Restaurant Battles” challenge, which will feature Tampa Bay’s own Bubbaque’s, Datz Restaurant, 7th + Grove and Harpoon Harry’s. The restaurants will go head-to-head for a $10,000 grant.
Super Bowl on CBS Kick-Off Show: Settle in for the game and take in Grammy Award-winning artist H.E.R singing America the Beautiful, followed by the national anthem as a duet by country star Eric Church and R&B singer Jazmine Sullivan. Both segments will have rapper Warren “WAWA” Snipe performing the songs in American Sign Language.
6:30 p.m. Kickoff
Coverage: Jim Nantz and Tony Romo will call the Super Bowl for CBS, along with reporters Tracy Wolfson, Evan Washburn, Jay Feely and Rules Analyst Gene Steratore.
Commercials: We’ve already seen a few roll out, like the Uber Eats’ ad featuring a Wayne’s World reunion and a Cheetos’ spot starring Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, and Shaggy. But this year, you won’t be seeing commercials from a few major companies, including Ford, Little Caesars, Olay, and Budweiser.
Around 8 p.m.
Halftime show starring The Weeknd: Headliner The Weeknd will put on what is promised to be a “cinematic” show that will last about 13 minutes. The Canadian singer-songwriter will perform on a stage and sets that had to be specially built in Raymond James Stadium to keep a distance from the live audience. As for surprise guests, the artist said in an interview this week with the NFL Network: “I’ve been reading a lot of rumors. I wouldn’t bet on it. There wasn’t any room to fit it in the narrative and the story I was telling in the performance. So, there’s no special guests, no.”
Around 10-11 p.m.
CBS Sports HQ, the 24-hour streaming sports news network, will stream post-game analysis and highlights. It is available for free across digital platforms.
Verizon’s After Show: Country music star Luke Bryan will perform as part of The Big Concert for Small Business, Verizon’s Super Bowl after-party starting at 11 p.m. Hosted by comedian and actor Tiffany Haddish, the event will also feature performances by Alicia Keys, Brandi Carlile, Brittany Howard, Christina Aguilera, Eric Church, H.E.R., Jazmine Sullivan and Miley Cyrus. The concert will be streamed on Yahoo, Fios, @Verizon on Twitter, Twitch, YouTube and TikTok, and broadcasted on BET, CBS Sports Network, CMT, MTV2 and MTV Live, as well as aired on iHeart and Sirius. Fans will be urged during the show to support businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Tips for pet owners
Watching an exciting game can involve a lot of yelling at the TV, and maybe even fireworks, if the right team wins. Both can be a source of anxiety for your pets.
Animal experts suggest a good walk or run before the game, which leaves less energy for your pet to spend on being anxious or afraid in the midst of any commotion. Set them up in a quieter place in the house with a fuzzy blanket or toys to make the space cozy for your pet, according to akc.org. Give them something to curl up in, a place to crawl under and something to play with in an area that is stocked with fresh food and water.
Tips for streaming Super Bowl 55
If you’ve already cut the cord, you know streaming services can pose issues. If you’re new to streaming, know that “Live TV” isn’t exactly live. Streaming services can lag by at least 45 seconds. Sometimes as long as two minutes. Here are some game day tips if you plan to stream:
- If you use Twitter to create a football list of the best sports writers, you might want to stay off the platform during the game so they don’t spoil the fun when you’re streaming minutes behind real-time tweets. Check your feed during halftime or commercials.
- If you want to avoid well-meaning friends who like to send one-word texts like “Tampa-BRADY” turn your phone off and make sure any watch buddies do, too.
- Since you are behind the broadcast, consider noise-canceling headphones to avoid hearing your neighbors and their reactions that could vibrate off the walls of apartments. Fireworks, screams and collective groans from across the street travel faster than Hulu Live.
Times Executive Editor Mark Katches contributed to this report. Please don’t text him during the game.
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Tampa Bay Times Super Bowl 55 coverage
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