Fox says Super Bowl spots are going, going, almost gone

Superbowl LV11

The NFL season hasn’t kicked off yet, but Fox Sports is about ready to do a touchdown dance about ad sales for the Super Bowl.

Variety reported Wednesday that Fox has sold 95% of its ad inventory for Super Bowl LVII, scheduled for February 12, and has five or fewer half-minute spots left.

Mark Evans, Fox Sports’ executive vice president of ad sales, credited that to major advertisers rushing to reach the advertising equivalent of a first down: the lead spot in a commercial break.

Variety’s Brian Steinberg quoted Evans as saying “the major marketers who are going to be in the game want to make sure they can secure the position they want,” calling those so-called A position first-in-a-break ads “a perishable commodity.”

Steinberg also wrote that several of those 30-second ad placements on Fox exceed $7 million, a record-breaking number that he wrote came from “a person familiar with the matter.” Production costs can easily tack on hundreds of thousands of dollars per ad.

Evans added that Fox is seeing an unusual pattern of sports ads getting snapped up before ad spots in the network primetime shows touted in upfronts — entertainment content that, unlike sports, doesn’t demand real-time viewing.

“A lot of the NFL upfront deals were done in advance of your traditional entertainment marketplace, which is unique,” Steinberg quotes Evans. “It speaks to the demand for marquee events.”

An industry analyst suggested that even at those rights rates, this looked like economically rational behavior by advertisers.

“It’s no surprise that the limited number of ad slots are being grabbed early, given that a one-time event like the Super Bowl represents the ultimate advertising “if you snooze, you lose” scenario,” emailed Tammy Parker, principal analyst for global telecom consumer services at GlobalData. “Advertisers that fail to secure their slots risk being left out entirely.”

Parker suggested that future Super Bowls could prove even more of a money printer for the networks that secure their TV rights.

“Viewership may change year to year, depending in part upon who is playing and what else is going on in the world, but it remains a prime, high-profile viewership opportunity for advertisers that want to get their messages seen and heard by a large audience,” she wrote. “After its 2022 ratings rebound, the Super Bowl has regained its advertising luster.”

For reference, 2021’s Super Bowl drew almost 112 million viewers, according to figures released after the game from NBCUniversal and Nielsen, and yielded some $434.5 million in ad spending, according to a Kantar estimate cited in Variety’s report.

News Source: Fierce Video