TV networks are continuing to ride the auto category to unprecedented ad sales success around sports programming.
Fox and Turner have sold out most of their postseason baseball inventory at rates more than 10 percent higher than last year. As with other sports events on TV, both networks say autos represent their strongest category.
Virtually no ad time remains for the first four games of the ALCS and World Series on Fox, network executives say. Some ad time is available in later games, if they need to be played. Network executives say they approach every MLB postseason this way and don’t expect any problems selling that time.
Chevrolet is sponsoring the pregame and postgame shows on Fox. With the ALCS this year, Fox is in line to carry the highly rated Red Sox-Yankees series if both teams advance to the championship series.
Turner said it achieved near sellout levels last week for its ALDS, NLDS and NLCS games on TBS. It still has ad spots available in later “if necessary” games and online. It, too, is pacing well ahead of last year.
“We’ve seen a strong demand from the auto business,” said Jon Diament, Turner’s executive vice president of ad sales and marketing. “You’ll see a lot of auto commercials with us.”
Turner sold a sponsorship package to Audi, which is a new advertiser. The package will see Audi sponsor vignettes around the “Achieving Greatness” theme.
It also signed Dodge/Chrysler to sponsor the pregame show “On Deck.”
TBS also signed Captain Morgan to sponsor the postgame show “Inside the MLB.” The show also will be available online via Yahoo! Sports (www.sports.yahoo.com/mlb).
Diament would not speculate about whether MLB attracted some advertisers concerned about the NFL’s lockout. “The key factor is that these dollars are fourth-quarter dollars,” he said.