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NFL AD TIME IS A HOT COMMODITY FOR THE NETWORKS
Published July 18, 1995
"In the 1995-96 NFL marketplace, it is the sellers -- the networks -- who reign," according to Langdon Brockinton in INSIDE MEDIA. Just before July 4, ABC, NBC and Fox have already sold nearly 90% of their "respective inventory" for the upcoming season, and demand is so strong that NFL ad time has "commanded substantial rate hikes -- generally, 12-18 percent on a cost per thousand basis -- over last season's prices." THE COST: Some media buyers report that Fox is now asking advertisers for a "whopping" $600,000 per 30-second on the network's NFC Championship Game. Fox's "goal is to make the value of the NFC Championship more proportionately equivalent to the worth of the Super Bowl." Likewise, NBC has sold close to all of its playoff ad time and 85% of Super Bowl XXX ad time. Despite the AFC's rating resurgence last year, Fox is still charging "a bit more than NBC for commercial time: on average, $130,000-$140,00 per :30, versus $120,000-$130,000." Monday Night Football on ABC will go from $275,000 to $300,000 per 30- second. Overall, Fox reportedly may have surpassed its '94-95 NFL ad revenue total of $275M, and NBC and TNT are not far behind. WHO'S IN THE MIX: Domestic automakers continue to spend heavily, as do computer marketers and credit card companies. IBM has a deal with Fox, and AmEx has renewed deals with both NBC and Fox to be the sole credit card advertiser during playoff coverage. New companies, such as Volkswagen -- who will spend $10M on Fox this season -- have also "flooded the gridiron marketplace." Some auto brands, such as Ford, Chrysler, GM, and Toyota/Lexus -- signed four-year agreements with ABC and NBC before last season after the league signed a new TV deal, "thus the two networks locked in a lot of auto money for the long term." One agency exec: "Advertisers that cut multiyear deals must be feeling pretty happy. And the people who moved early in the market did a little better pricewise -- especially if they bought before the primetime marketplace moved in earnest" (Langdon Brockinton, INSIDE MEDIA, 7/12 issue).