With Quick Snap, CBS Sells College Football Ads
Prices up about 10% for SEC games
By Jon Lafayette -- Broadcasting & Cable, 5/4/2012 5:34:26 PM
Because they generate live viewers who might watch commercials when they air, sports have been a hot commodity with advertisers the last few years. College football has been second only to the mighty National Football League in generating ratings and ad revenues in the sports world.
Buyers say there will be a lot of college football games to advertise in this season, especially with Fox adding primetime games to its schedule. But CBS' SEC package has a limited number of high-rated games with top-ranked teams and the threat of a potential sellout is pushing agencies to do business now and pay CBS' price.
CBS also has the Super Bowl and might be leveraging that with sponsors that normally don't advertise in SEC games, one buyer said.
"It's May 4 and we've done a fair amount of business," said John Bogusz, executive VP for sports sales and marketing at CBS. He said the market is moving a bit early this year and that CBS was scoring price increases in the high single- to low double-digit range.
"We still have inventory but we're pretty well along," Bogusz said.
Home Depot continues as presenting sponsor of SEC football and Dr Pepper will present the SEC Championship game. "Most of the incumbents are back," Bogusz said. The automakers have been active in buying college football, as have a number of regional fast-food players (Chick-fil-A, Sonic) and financial services and insurance marketers.
ESPN is the biggest player in college football, with games on both cable and ABC. One buyer said ESPN was still working on renewals with some key sponsors before going out to the market. ESPN declined to comment.
Fox is also talking to marketers who sponsored the Big Ten and Pac-12 Championship Games that aired on Fox last year, according to market sources. Buyers say Fox is putting out proposals that would price its games in the same neighborhood as those on ABC.
The networks are also having conversations about the upcoming NFL season, but not much business has been done yet, buyers said.
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