SBD/May 23, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Football Ad Sales Hot On The Market; NBC Sells Nearly Half Its Super Bowl XLVI Inventory

NBC has “sold nearly half of its available Super Bowl XLVI spots, cutting deals with a number of repeat clients looking to protect their positions in the big game,” according to sources cited by Anthony Crupi of ADWEEK. Precise ad rates are unavailable, but NBC is “believed to be commanding rates above and beyond Fox’ year-ago average price of $3 million per 30-second spot.” Rates for Super Bowl spots “typically increase by as much as $150,000 each season, although given the deluge of automotive, telecom and financial services dollars flooding the market, NBC could push for a $300,000 hike.” The auto industry has “sparked the run on ad time” and has been “a big part of the conversation at the NFL’s other network partners.” Fox has sold “a healthy portion of its regular-season avails and is believed to have wrapped up a good deal of auto business" for both its "Fox NFL Sunday" pregame show and during its 1:00 and 4:15pm ET game broadcasts. CBS is also “said to be fielding offers for its Sunday afternoon coverage.” ESPN is “in active discussions with its ‘Monday Night Football’ sponsors and, given the uncertainty engendered by the NFL lockout, its 300-game NCAA football slate is the object of great interest.” One game that is “almost certainly sold out is the Sept. 10 Notre Dame-Michigan matchup.” Sources indicated that the “incumbents aren’t hoarding all the NFL inventory; in fact, a good deal of first-time clients are throwing their lot in with football.” College football is “particularly popular amongst marketers who are looking to dip a toe in the water” (, 5/20).
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