NFL Ads Selling Super FastAutomakers drive market for both football and baseball 5/23/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern
The sports marketplace is running hot, despite
uncertainty over whether National Football League
games will be played this season.
NBC has sold more than half of the Super Bowl ads that
will air if the game is played as scheduled next February,
according to sources. The network is getting more than $3
million per 30-second spot, up from last year’s game on
Fox, which was a quick sellout. NBC had no comment.
Sources also said that Fox has already sold nearly all of
the commercial time available to automakers in the upcoming
NFL season and got strong increases in prices.
Because the networks allow only one automaker’s ads to
appear in a single quarter of football telecasts in order to
increase brand recall, there are limited opportunities, and
automakers that hesitate risk being shut out.
Automotive is one of the ad industry’s biggest categories.
During the recession, TV networks were hit hard as automakers
cut back. As car sales revive, the category has
become a major driver for increased revenue.
Fox is in a similar, nearly sold-out situation with
automakers in baseball’s World Series. Only one automaker’s
commercials can appear in each half-inning
break. Fox declined to comment.
With the NFL season in jeopardy because of its labor
dispute, football advertisers might try to hedge their bets.
But some ad sales executives know which clients buy football
and say they won’t accept unusually large requests
for ad time unless they are firm now, because they don’t
want those buys to disappear when the lockout is settled.
Upfront time is usually put on hold when deals are done
and goes to order just before the season starts.