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A-B SIGNS $120M "MNF" PACT; IS NFL SPRINTING FOR MORE CASH?
Published March 3, 1998
Anheuser-Busch has signed a $120M ad pact with ABC's "Monday Night Football" that runs through 2001, "kicking off what's expected to be a season of record spending levels" for NFL broadcasts, according to Arndorfer & Jensen of AD AGE. A-B "got a break from ABC for committing early to a long-term deal." As part of the new pact, which replaces a deal due to expire in '99, A-B will pay $1.75M for a total of five units per game, or $350,000 per spot, during the first two years of the deal. In the final two years, A-B will pay $2M for five units per game, or $400,000 per spot. The company also plans to spend "about" $10M to advertise on preseason and postseason games on ABC (AD AGE, 3/2 issue). SPRINTING TO A DEAL? In other NFL sponsor news, "thorny negotiations loom" for the league and Sprint "as they enter the final year of a $24 million-a-year pact." Last season, "as part of a broader deal," Sprint placed its logo on the headsets of NFL coaches, "generating visibility worth tens of millions of dollars." NFL owners, "seeing the visibility as an added bonanza for Sprint, decided they want more" for the package. Although negotiations haven't started, "executives close to Sprint" say the company "is balking" at "what is believed to be about" a $10-15M increase. AD AGE's Arndorfer & Jensen write that the NFL "would consider selling the headsets separately, if it can't get the price it wants for telecommunications." According to The Sponsors Reports, Sprint received 3:33 of air time from the headsets during the Super Bowl, valued at $9.23M (AD AGE, 3/2 issue).