NBC sets record $6.5M deal for 30-second Super Bowl ad

NBCUniversal said it has recently sold 30-second ads for Super Bowl LVI for a record $6.5 million each.

NBC Sports advertising sales chief Dan Lovinger told reporters on a call Wednesday that inventory for NBC’s coverage of Super Bowl LVI on Feb. 13, 2022, is essentially sold out, with only a few slots left. He noted that the network is “purposely holding them back” as it is on the hunt for hefty deals to sell out the big game.

“We have seen demand exceed our remaining inventory available, but we have obviously been fairly choosy and are working with that inventory to make the most of it,” Lovinger said.

The exec noted that spots have sold for as much as $6.5 million for 30 seconds, with buys also including a matching investment in other NBCUniversal events like the Winter Games.

For the Super Bowl, it’s a marked change from last year’s big game, when viewership was hampered by the coronavirus pandemic. Super Bowl LV, which aired on ViacomCBS’ network CBS, booked rates of $5.5 million for 30 second commercials, down from the previous year’s rate of $5.6 million.

Still, as a whole Super Bowl LV generated a record $545 million in ad revenue, according to research firm Kantar. That haul is in spite of lackluster ratings of 92 million tuned in when compared to the 98 million who watched in 2019.

NBC Sports said it has “essentially sold out” all its ad slots for the Super Bowl and that it is holding out for a few big ticket advertisers.
Scott Boehm via AP

Many longtime advertisers like Ford, Olay and Avocados From Mexico passed on advertising in last year’s game, citing the difficulty striking the right tone as the country was plagued by the coronavirus pandemic, social and political unrest and record unemployment.

But with vaccine rates up and businesses reopening, the country’s mood is brightening–even though COVID is far from over — and advertisers are back to spending.

Meanwhile, NBC’s Lovinger also said advertising for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, which is scheduled to kick off on Feb. 4, is at “near sell-out levels.” The Super Bowl will overlap with the Winter Olympics for the first time ever.

Advertising slots for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing are nearly sold out, according to NBC Sports.
Advertising slots for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing are nearly sold out, according to NBC Sports.
Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

That is a good thing for NBC, as advertisers are looking to attract the most eyeballs as possible and are looking for the biggest bang for their buck. And the network could use a lift after the Tokyo Summer Olympics, which had been delayed a year due to Covid.

Hampered by the delay, Covid restrictions that eliminated fans from attending the Games and a series of high-profile athletes dropping out of competition, the event drew the lowest TV ratings ever with just 15.5 million since NBC nabbed the US media rights 33 years ago. As a result, the network scrambled to schedule “make goods,” or extra commercial time for jilted advertisers, following the low ratings. 

Lovinger said that the remaining ad slots for the Beijing Games will be evaluated on a “case-by-case basis,” adding that advertisers have “unprecedented opportunity” to place campaigns in the Super Bowl and Olympics in the same buy.

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Kathy Lewis

Kathy Lewis is an all-around geek who loves learning new stuff every day. With a background in computer science and a passion for writing, she loves writing for almost all the sections of Editorials99.

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