NBC Thinks It's Invented The New Super Bowl—And Wants $1 Million Per Ad For It

NFL on TV Super Bowl

Photo: Dan Harrelson/Flickr

NBC believes Thanksgiving night football could become the new Super Bowl of ad ratings: It wants up to $1 million for a 30-second ad unit in the Thursday evening, Nov. 22, 2012, game between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets in Rutherford, N.J.That would give the TV networks a third tentpole advertising night, after the Super Bowl and the Oscars.

The Super Bowl itself, of course, remains the king ad prices. This year’s big game fetched $4 million for 30 seconds. Super Bowl prices first breached the $1 million mark in 1985, the year after Apple ran its famous “1984” spot from TBWA/Chait/Day, which stamped the game as the premier showcase for ad creativity.

  • See our Super Bowl ad prices chart, below.

The 2012 Oscars price was $1.7 million. The Academy Awards show is often referred to in the ad business as “the Super Bowl for women.”

Thanksgiving night football has potential: Families are gathered at home; football is suitable for all ages; it’s a captive audience.

CBS and Fox will both broadcast games during the day, and they’re expecting audiences of 30 million each. Unlike NBC, however, neither of those networks has billed their Turkey Day game as some sort of banner TV event.

NBC is betting big on the night game: As you can see from this NFL schedule, NBC owns the Thanksgiving night game all the way through 2022.

It’s a smart move by the network. Its broadcast rights contract with the NFL jumped from $650 million a year to $950 million from this year on, but it’s still paying less than the other two nets (Fox pays $1.1 billion and CBS pays $1 billion).

In other words, if NBC can pull this off it will have paid less to get more.

Below: Super Bowl ad prices by year (click to enlarge):

super bowl ad prices

Photo: Jon Terbush / Business Insider

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