The World Series and its ads shows why advertisers still love TV

  • Ratings have been solid for the World Series, which demonstrates the massive amount of advertising exposure big TV events can deliver.
  • To date, the games have generated over 5.1 billion ad impressions and over five hours of pure advertising time on TV sets across the US.
  • People on average are watching 86% of the ads during the games, which for the most part have discouraged people from flipping around.

The World Series has been absolutely wild, and ratings — though down from last year’s historic run for the Chicago Cubs — have been solid for Fox, even topping “Sunday Night Football,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Besides attracting a large audience, the games have provided a text book example of why advertisers are still in love with TV, despite all of its flaws and challenges.

For one, across the first five games, World Series ads on Fox have generated well over 5.1 billion impressions, according to the analytics firm, which measures attention for TV ads using a panel of 7.3 million Smart TVs.

An ad impression in this case is recorded every time a person watches at least three seconds of an ad from the start. That metric is probably about the closest thing to a view in web video, depending on the media company involved. Delivering that much ad exposure in such bursts of time is TV’s enduring strength.

Though 7.3 million TVs represent only a slice of total TV viewership in the US the iSpot data is able to compile a comprehensive list of which advertisers ran during the game and how people responded.

Overall, iSpots says that over the first five games:

  • 142 advertisers have run a total of 226 ads
  • There have been 601 ad “airings” to date
  • That translates to over five hours and 10 minutes of pure advertising

YouTube TV has had a huge sponsorship presence during the series. But interestingly, Fox itself has been the biggest advertiser during the games, found iSpot:

Ispot impressionsiSpot TVHere are some of the biggest World Series advertisers

Meanwhile, given the riveting, tight nature of this year’s World Series, people have stayed tuned in. According to iSpot, the ads run during the games have been watched to completion by an average of 86% of the viewers.

That puts the World Series’ ad attention score above some kinds of TV programming, like say morning news shows, though its score is behind ads showing during serialized shows like “Law and Order SVU” and “The Walking Dead” — which boast of ad attention rates above 90% on average.

Ispot attention ratesiSpot TVPeople are sticking with World Series ads

Of course, some people do flip around during commercials. Here’s a second by second look at viewership during the games:

SecondbysecondispotInscapeSecond by second viewing during the World Series

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