NBC close to selling out Super Bowl ads

Fred Gaudelli Al Michaels TCA NBC Sport

Ads are going for slightly more than $5 million per 30-second spot.

A 30-second ad during NBC's Super Bowl telecast on February 4 is selling for "north of $5 million", NBC Sports advertising sales chief Dan Lovinger said during a conference call on Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The figure, which includes pre-game festivities, the contest itself, postgame, and a special airing of the hit NBC drama series "This Is Us", is roughly equivalent to what the network takes in from its daily morning program "Today" over an entire year. Every game since 2010 has drawn at least 106 million viewers.

So what if such protests - namely kneeling - were to surface at the Super Bowl?

Super Bowl 52 (LII) is Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018 at U.S. Bank Stadium (home of the Minnesota Vikings) in Minneapolis, Minn. "The game itself nearly transcends the season". Last year, the New England Patriots' stunning comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons had an average audience of 111.3 million viewers on Fox, making the game the fifth most watched TV event of all time, according to Nielsen.

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Four all-white co-hosts of the Fox News program Outnumbered expressed outrage that National Football League players might kneel at Super Bowl LII to protest systemic racism in America.

"I think there's a lot of reasons for it", Gaudelli said.

NBC said it has fewer than 10 spots left to sell in game, and its pre-game and post-game shows are almost sold out as well, as is the post-Super Bowl broadcast of the hit show This is Us. Ad prices are running higher than the 2014 winter games in Sochi, Russia, NBC executives said Thursday on a conference call.

Lovinger said about 30% of his revenue was coming for advertiser who are buying spots in both big events.

Ratings for live sports, including the Olympics and pro football, have declined in an era when viewers have so many choices for entertainment, from Snapchat to YouTube.

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