SBD/Issue 72/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

CBS' SB XLIV Ad Sales Said To Be Healthier Than NBC's Olympic Sales

NBC will not disclose how much ad inventory it has left for the Winter Olympics in February, but “ad buyers estimate it still has” 20-30% to go, according to Holly Sanders Ware of the N.Y. POST. The Winter Games are expected to boost U.S. ad spending, “but not as much as in years past.” According to research by Magna, the Vancouver Games will boost U.S. ad revenue by $487.5M in '10, down 25% from $650M during the '06 Winter Olympics. Ad buyers “blame the battered economy and the bad hand NBC was dealt when several major sponsors” of the USOC did not renew deals, taking away dedicated buyers. Optimedia Exec VP & Dir of National Electronic Media Larry Novenstern: "NBC had to start from scratch this year. I think they have done a good job, considering." NBC, which paid $820M in '03 for the rights to the Games, “concedes sales are behind projections and said it expects to lose as much” as $200M. CBS is “faring better” with ad sales for Super Bowl XLIV, but “not as well as the network would like everyone to believe.” The net said it has sold about 90% of its inventory, with 30-second spots selling for close to $3M. CBS “insists it hasn't cut prices, but ad buyers tell a different story.” One ad buyer said, "They are putting a rosy picture on it. You could be paying more than last year, but you buy a package of units, not just the Super Bowl" (N.Y. POST, 12/28).

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