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Weeknd Super Bowl Halftime Show: What to Expect, How to Watch for Free

The Super Bowl transcends football. Lots of people tune in who aren’t sports fans to check out the legendary commercials, the movie trailers, the general spectacle and the Pepsi-sponsored halftime show with stars. This year’s competition takes place in Tampa, Florida, with the hometown of Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tom “Big Coat” Brady including the reigning champions Kansas City Chiefs and QB Patrick Mahomes. Grammy Award-winning singer The Weeknd headlines the headlines, and the musician loves to play.

“We all grow up watching the world̵

7;s greatest acts play the Super Bowl and you can only dream of being in that position,” the singer said in a statement. “I am humbled, honored and ecstatic to be the center of that infamous stage this year.”

Ready for The Weeknd: who is he?

Born in Toronto to Ethiopian immigrant parents, The Weeknd (real name: Abel Tesfaye) started his career in the 21st century way – uploading songs to YouTube in 2010.

According to Grammy.com, he chose his stage name because he dropped out of high school and “left for a weekend and never (came) back home.” His stage name is missing an “e” because there was already a Canadian band known as The Weekend.

He has since won three Grammys, eight Billboard Music Awards, five American Music Awards, two MTV Video Music Awards, and nine Juno Awards. He was a musical guest on Saturday Night Live three times. His last SNL appearance came in March 2020, just before the pandemic locked up most things. On that show, he startled the audience with his bandaged face, but the look was part of the act.

“The meaning of the whole headband reflects on the absurd culture of Hollywood celebrities and people who manipulate themselves for superficial reasons to please and be validated,” he told Variety in a teasing and mysterious interview. (The New York Post has a long schedule of the singer’s gory bandage look.)

What is expected?

We don’t know if The Weeknd will wear face bandages during the big game, but he doesn’t wear them in a 30 second ad for his halftime performance. In it, he is dressed in an all-black outfit, complete with leather jacket and shiny shoes, and he walks through a stadium tunnel to the field.

In a 10-minute press conference, The Weeknd confirmed that he has put his own money into getting only the Super Bowl sets he wants. Although the game organizers cover all production costs, the singer put in $ 7 million to “make this show what he wanted,” his manager told Billboard. He certainly had to be creative with the performance, which usually takes place in the middle of the football field, but this year may be different.

“Because of COVID and for the safety of the players and the workers, we have built the podium in the stadium … I will not tell you anything else because you will have to watch on Sunday.”

When a local Tampa reporter asked if The Weeknd would include the stadium’s built-in pirate ship, he said he would do so somewhat, but wouldn’t reveal details. The 103-foot-long ship is located in the North End Zone and was made by the same company that produces Disney props. Its cannons fire when Buccaneers from the home team score points, and an animatronic parrot regularly talks to fans.

Previous Super Bowl performers have included special guests on their show, but as befits a social year, The Weeknd said no other performers would join him.

COVID-19 changes

In the past, fans were part of the halftime show, surrounding the performers on the field, kind of like a real club show. Don’t expect that this year.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, new health and safety guidelines will be in place for the entire event. Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium normally holds more than 65,000, but due to pandemic restrictions, only about 25,000 fans will attend the game, including 7,500 vaccinated health workers who have been given free tickets.

And fans will be kept at a social distance in “ sitting capsules, ” People magazine reports. They will also be required to wear masks, receive free hand sanitizer, and pay for food or souvenirs with contactless payment options.

How to watch

The Super Bowl airs on CBS on Sunday, February 7 at 6:30 pm ET (3:30 pm PT), and is on livestreamed for free on the CBS Sports app, on mobile devices, and on Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. The NFL and Yahoo Sports mobile apps will also all stream the game for free on phones and tablets.

CBSSports.com will stream the game on its website without the need for pay TV authentication. Mobile apps for CBS Sports, the NFL app and Yahoo Sports will all stream the game for free on phones and tablets as well.

Those who want to watch on a TV can do so with the CBS Sports app on Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. Other options include AirPlaying from an iOS device or Chromecasting to an Android TV or Google Chromecast streaming dongle from an Android phone or tablet. If none of that works, you can always connect a computer to the HDMI port on your TV.

YouTube TV costs $ 65 a month and includes all the channels NFL fans need: CBS, ESPN and NFL Network. Enter your zip code on the Welcome page to find out which local area networks are available in your area.

FuboTV costs $ 65 a month for its Family plan and includes CBS plus ESPN and the NFL Network for tracking all the pre-Super Bowl fun. Click here to see which local channels you get.

Looking for more ways to watch? We’ve got a comprehensive explanation of the many ways to get CBS or other services that play in our View post.

If you miss the game, watch YouTube

Last year’s dance show was on view Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. Right after the show, the NFL posted the full 14-minute performance on YouTube for free viewing. It seems likely that the league will post this year’s show back to the NFL YouTube account right after halftime, and we’ll link to it here when they do.

Here’s last year’s show while we wait:

More Super Bowl music

While he won’t have any guests during his performance, The Weeknd won’t be the only famous singer to perform in the Super Bowl. The pregame anthem is a duet performed by Grammy nominees Jazmine Sullivan and Eric Church.

Prior to the national anthem, the Grammy-winning singer will sing HER America the Beautiful.

And there will be more music after the game. Verizon is hosting Big Concert for Small Business, a live streaming musical event hosted by Tiffany Haddish and featuring artists including Alicia Keys, Brandi Carlile, Christina Aguilera, Luke Bryan and Miley Cyrus, along with more from HER, Jazmine Sullivan and Eric Church.

The concert will be streamed on Verizon’s Twitter, TikTok, Twitch, and YouTube channels, as well as on Yahoo, Fios, and iHeartRadio, starting after the match at 8:00 p.m. PT. The organizers are encouraging fans to make a donation of $ 10 to support small businesses by texting SMALLBIZ to 20222.

CNET’s Matt Elliott and Eli Blumenthal contributed to this story.

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