Fox made $US500 million off the Super Bowl

The NFL saw a ratings slide this season, but the Super Bowl still brought in a mountain of cash for TV.

The Super Bowl snagged 111.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen, which was the smallest audience for the game in four years, according to Reuters.

But Fox still got a huge payday, generating a whopping $500 million in ad revenue on the day of the Super Bowl, 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch said Monday, on the company’s quarterly earnings call.

“The power of sports can’t be overstated,” Murdoch said, adding that the “single game is a great example of strength of Fox Sports, increasingly delivered across multiple platforms.”

For this year’s Super Bowl, a 30-second Super Bowl ad cost companies about $5 million, or $166,667 per second.

Here’s a chart showing how it has gone up over time:

Murdoch said the Super Bowl is emblematic of Fox’s broader strategy around “big brands.”

The Super Bowl boosted the confidence of Instinet-Nomura analyst Anthony DiClemente. He wrote in a note Tuesday that Murdoch’s commentary around the $500 million “increases our confidence for robust [2017 year-over-year] growth at TV.”

Still, Fox and other NFL TV partners could continue to face ratings pressure moving forward. Ratings for for the whole regular season were down 9%, and down 6% for the playoffs, according to MoffettNathanson.

For a larger discussion of that issue, read our analysis of the NFL’s rating woes.

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