The Super Bowl is the grand finale of the US National Football League, the country’s biggest professional sports competition. Unlike many sports leagues in the UK, the NFL uses a playoff format to engineer a final game showdown that creates a better spectacle for fans.
This means that all of the focus is on this final game, unlike in the Premier League where the winner can be decided with several games left to play, or on the final day of the season but with two games deciding the outcome. For example, in 2018/19, Liverpool needed to win their final game and for Manchester City to lose theirs for them to become champions.
GROWING INTEREST IN AMERICAN FOOTBALL
For the majority of its history, American football has been a niche sport in Britain, with the majority of the population not understanding the rules or not liking the regular breaks in play. Instead, Brits have preferred their version of football and other sports like rugby, tennis, golf, and cricket.
However, in recent years Brits have been showing more and more interest in the NFL. This has partly been helped by the fact that it has held annual games in Wembley Stadium and American football has been broadcast on British TV.
For more than a decade, British fans have been able to watch the winner of each NFL season be declared after the BBC began broadcasting it in 2008.
In 2020, Super Bowl LIV will be no different with the BBC and Sky Sports providing extensive, live coverage of the game and the halftime show.
Of course, fans in the UK are not limited to the coverage provided by the BBC and Sky. They will be able to access the majority of the online content provided by American broadcasters and journalists, including expert analysis from the Fox Sports team.
Social media will also be packed with pundits, journalists, and fans alike, all commenting and providing reactions to the game as it happens.
2020 BBC SUPER BOWL COVERAGE
On 2nd February 2020, the Kansas City Chiefs will take on the San Francisco 49ers at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. For fans able to stay awake, the BBC will be providing live coverage of the entire game from 11:00 PM through to 4:00 AM. For those that would rather watch the game at a more civilised hour, all coverage will be available on its streaming service, BBC iPlayer.
The BBC will be using its usual NFL team for the Super Bowl, with punditry from Osi Umenyiora and Jason Bell. It will also be taking commentary from the NFL UK commentators.
Coverage will also be available on BBC radio and as a text commentary through its website and BBC Sports mobile app.
2020 SKY SPORTS SUPER BOWL COVERAGE
Sky Sports will also be providing live coverage of the Super Bowl, available on its Main Event and Action channels. It will also be available for Sky Go and NOW TV customers. It will begin its pre-game build up an hour earlier than the BBC, with the show starting at 10:00 PM.
Sky will be using its usual presenting team, including Neil Reynolds, Shaun Gayle, and Jeff Reinebold.
Early broadcasts of the Super Bowl in the UK were criticised for not including coverage of the legendary halftime show. This was due to rights restrictions not making it possible. However, both the BBC and Sky will be showing full coverage of Super Bowl LIV’s halftime show.
This year’s show will feature Shakira and Jennifer Lopez, and will be sponsored by drinks company, Pepsi. The lineup was announced in September, when the pair tweeted pictures of each other with the words, “this is happening”.
The halftime show is a popular part of the Super Bowl and is often just as talked about the following day as the result of the game, and the many Super Bowl ads. They follow a long line up of legendary musicians who have entertained the crowds at half time, including Justin Timberlake, Prince, Madonna, Lady Gaga, and Maroon 5.
No matter which broadcaster you choose, there is no doubt that, in 2020, American football fans in the UK will have some of the best Super Bowl coverage ever provided within its borders.