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FOX/ESPN HARD AT WORK SELLING AD TIME FOR NHL BROADCASTS
Published February 28, 1995
Fox Sports is "out once again trying to sell its inaugural NHL package," according to the current issue of INSIDE MEDIA. Although the network declines to comment on sales, sources say that Fox has sold almost half of its inventory. Soft drink, computer, and telecommunications company categories "are being targeted." Although the network has landed "one major deal" with Chrysler, other ad agency execs "are squawking about Fox's sizable price tags, and they're threatening to take a pass on hockey." Asking prices range from $35-60,000 per 30-second spot for regular-season and playoff telecasts. One sports media buyer: "It's more expensive than the freakin' NBA." Sales should be helped by "an already tight second-quarter marketplace. Still, the network has a way to go to reach sell-out" (Brockington & Reynolds, INSIDE MEDIA, 2/28 issue). ESPN'S NHL SPOTS: ESPN and ESPN2 are "extremely well sold during the regular season," according to Jack Bonanni, Senior VP/Ad Sales at ESPN. The network's NHL cost per minutes are cheaper than Fox, and Bonanni said "fortunately, our sponsors stayed with us (during the lockout); no one got out." Among the advertisers with a strong presence on the hockey cablecasts are Visa, Dodge, Miller Brewing, A-B (Bud Ice), MCI, Nike, and Heineken. A select list of sponsors have been "afforded the opportunity to run spots on both ESPN and ESPN2" (INSIDE MEDIA, 2/28 issue). FROZEN FOODS: Fox ran a promo ad with the Canucks' Pavel Bure during last night's "Melrose Place," to promote its NHL telecasts in April. Bure explains the fine points of shooting by hitting frozen foods with his stick ("Melrose Place," Fox, 2/27). This morning's TORONTO STAR chronicles the making of the Fox info-spots. Fox VP/Creative Dir George Greenberg on the featured NHL players: "They're beginning to realize how big the game is getting and what big stars they can become. We're just asking them to come out of their shells a little bit. The onus is on us to bring out their personalities" (TORONTO STAR, 2/28).