Despite all the Super Bowl hype, NBC still has two ads left to sell
NBC Universal Sports chairman Dick Ebersol remained upbeat about sales of ads in Sunday's Super Bowl on a conference call with reporters minutes ago, despite admitting two 30-second spots remain unsold three days before the game.
News reports earlier today said the network had four spots open, but Ebersol noted the network sold two spots over the past few hours, with nothing sold for less than $2.4-million and most spots sold for close to $3-million (including the commercial, at right, for Victoria's Secret lingerie).
Complimenting NBC's sales department for selling 85 percent of Super Bowl ads by mid-September, Ebersol insisted that the performance was a triumph for the network, not a reflection of struggle in a weakened economy.
"Considering the state of the economy in the United States, we could not be any more thrilled with where we are right now," said Ebersol, noting that only one advertiser, Anheuser-Busch, received ads at $2.4-million per 30 second spot, mostly because they have bought nearly 5 minutes of ads.
The ads are expected to bring in more than $200-million in revenue for NBC, ahead of the 186.3-million Fox made from last year's game, according to MediaWeek magazine. Media Week also reported NBC had 67 total spots available, with a dozen spots sold at $3-million and most remaining spots sold at $2.9-million to $2.8-million -- above the $2.7-million base rate Fox earned last year.
“Clearly, this Super Bowl experience will still bring about the largest gross income for television coverage," he added. "I think this has become a story because some people look at it as a barometer of the state of the American economy....This Super Bowl, because it was sold so early, has been largely immune from that pressure....(It's) not a headline, particularly when (almost) all of them are sold at full price.”