CBS on the ball



CBS has sold 60% of its Super Bowl inventory and 90% of its regular-season National Football League inventory, sources say. A big chunk of that ground was gained through a $50 million deal that OMD USA (the media buying arm of ad agency Omnicom) struck on behalf of several clients. The buy includes a dozen in-game Super Bowl units, three pregame sponsorships and a lot of regular season inventory.

Tom McGovern, head of sports buying for OMD, confirmed the overall deal but wouldn't name the clients, although they are believed to include Pepsi, VISA and Federal Express. So far, only one or two dotcoms are said to be in the game, including Anheuser-Busch and M & M Mars have re-upped for the Super Bowl. CBS executives say they have extracted double-digit NFL gains this year. Agency executives say the pricing has ranged between high single-digit and low double-digit gains for the NFL. FOX is said to be 80% to 85% sold on the NFL.

CBS is asking $2.4 million apiece for its 62 in-game Super Bowl units, up from the $1.85 million ABC averaged last year.