While NFL sales talks are in the early stages, college
football ad avails on CBS are about 90% sold for the coming season, according
to John Bogusz, executive VP for sports sales and marketing.
"The market for sports has been very good and college
football sales have been strong," he says, citing the automotive, fast
food and insurance categories as being particularly big spending and
Bogusz adds that the network doesn't have to do much to
drive sales because it has rights to Southeastern Conference football;
currently, the SEC is extremely competitive, featuring college teams that are
among the most prominent and popular in the nation. The last four National
Champions were from the SEC; last year, two SEC teams played in the
championship game, with Alabama defeating LSU for the title.
CBS does not televise the BCS bowl games and title game, but
it does get to select the premiere matchup each week within the SEC to televise
during the regular season. And it can also air doubleheader games.
While NBC has the TV rights for all Notre Dame football home
games, CBS has the rights to televise the Notre Dame vs. Navy game when Navy hosts,
and that will be this fall. While Navy officially "hosts," the game will be
played in Dublin, Ireland, and broadcast live by CBS on Saturday, Sept. 1, at 9
CBS will also air the Army-Navy game this December and has
the TV rights to that game through 2018. Last year's game averaged a 4.0
rating, up 14% from the previous year.
Bogusz says the network is continuing to negotiate Super
Bowl deals for the February 2013 telecast and, "when we're talking Super
Bowl, the agencies start asking us about regular season NFL."
He says having the Super Bowl helps kick-start regular
season NFL sales a little earlier than usual, adding that while Super Bowl
deals are getting done, he would not talk about sellout levels.