Demand For NFL In-Game Ad Inventory Close To "Unprecedented Levels"
Demand for NFL in-game ad inventory has “spiked to nearly unprecedented levels” and network sales execs said that they have “sold between 85 percent and 90 percent of their regular-season airtime, with spots fetching premiums in the high single digits versus last year’s rates,” according to Anthony Crupi of ADWEEK. Media buyers said that a 30-second spot in “SNF” now “carries a price tag of around $545,000, making NBC’s prime-time NFL showcase the most elite environment on the TV dial.” Last fall, "SNF" ended an "eight-season reign" for Fox' "American Idol" as the highest-rated show on primetime TV. NBC Sports Group Exec VP/Sales & Marketing Seth Winter said that “all but one sponsor" have returned this fall for the net's "Football Night in America" pregame show, halftime and postgame shows. He added that the unit cost for NBC’s Thanksgiving night Jets-Patriots matchup is a “gaudy $950,000 [and] that broadcast is already 75 percent sold.” CBS Exec VP/Sports Sales & Marketing John Bogusz said that “around 85 percent of his AFC inventory is accounted for.” Crupi notes “all but one legacy sponsor" for CBS’ "The NFL Today" pregame show are returning for '12. Verizon, the official wireless backer of the NFL, "will replace rival Sprint as CBS’ halftime sponsor.” Fox’ NFC package “could be as much as 90 percent sold before the season begins, with CPM increases in the high single digits on a percentile basis.” Ford is “returning as the sponsor of the Fox NFL Sunday pregame, and Visa will assume its familiar role in the halftime show.” With an “estimated average unit cost of $325,000," time in ESPN's "MNF" is now "more valuable than everything" but "SNF" and "American Idol" (ADWEEK.com, 8/20).