NBC Sports, the broadcaster hosting the XLIX Super Bowl, has just announced that 95% of the ad slots during the big game have sold out.
Speaking on a conference call with press on Wednesday, the EVP of sales and sales marketing Seth Winter for NBC Universal’s Sports Group and News Group said there are just a “handful” of units left and that the broadcaster is “much further along today” than it was in 2012, when it last broadcast the Super Bowl. The company — of course — expects all the slots to be sold out before kick off on February 1.
NBC confirmed it is asking for between $US4.4 million and $US4.5 million per 30-second slot, depending on how many units advertisers buy. Winter said he thinks this is a “steal” given the extra exposure Super Bowl ad creative gets on social media and through PR, and that he thinks is a slot is really worth “$US10 million.”
So far, NBC has signed up 15 advertisers that making their Super Bowl debuts.
While the tone of the call was mostly positive, Winter admitted the sell had been tougher than other years due to “general conditions” in the ad market — indeed, FOX, which broadcast the 2014 Super Bowl, had sold out all its big game ad inventory by December 2013. In particular, the automotive category has not performed well this year, with only half as many car brands participating this year. Indeed, so far, we only know that Nissan, Toyota and Mercedes-Benz are planning Super Bowl ads this time around.
Elsewhere, other “weaker” categories include tech and wireless categories.
Making up that shortfall have been advertisers from the CPG category, soft drinks, gaming and apps, fast food restaurants and movies.
Beyond in-game TV ads, NBC said it has seen “significant interest” in pre- and post-game ads. Winter said this may be because advertisers are keen to hit the NFL audience, but those ads are not subject to the same scrutiny and expectations of in-game ads.
NBC also streams the game online and digital ads have been “very well sold.” Winter revealed that 100% of those advertising against the online stream are also Super Bowl TV advertisers.
Beyond types of units sold, Winter also responded to a question on the call about whether the domestic abuse scandal that has rocked the NFL in recent months had affected ad bookings. He admitted that one advertiser had “early on got a bit queasy about it” and chosen not advertise this year as a result, but he added that he had not heard the same from other clients.
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