NBC Has ‘Less Than 10’ Super Bowl Ad Slots Available With Just 3 Weeks to Go

Network expects to generate around $500 million in ad revenue on Feb. 4

NBC Sports expects to rake in almost $1.4 billion in ad revenue, between Super Bowl LII and the Winter Olympics. Animation: Dianna McDougall; Sources: Getty Images, NBC
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With just three and a half weeks to go before Super Bowl LII, NBC has nearly sold out of its inventory for the game.

The network has “less than 10” in-game slots available, Dan Lovinger, evp ad sales, NBC Sports Group, told reporters today. The company is averaging “more than $5 million for a 30-second spot,” which covers linear, digital and Spanish language platforms. NBC doesn’t give out the exact number of in-game units, but it is more than 70.

Pre- and post-game ad units, along with This Is Us’ post-Super Bowl episode, are also “well-sold,” said Lovinger. “We expect Feb. 4 will set a record for single-day revenue generated by a single company,” with ad revenue in the range of $500 million.

The Super Bowl will air on Feb. 4, with NBC’s prime-time coverage of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, kicking off four days later on Feb. 8.

And Winter Olympics sales are also strong, said Lovinger. NBCUniversal expects to take in “close to $1.4 billion” in ad revenue from the Super Bowl (including pre- and post-game) and the Winter Olympics in February, he said. Lovinger said ad sales for the Pyeongchang Olympics are expected to surpass those for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, which ended up in the mid-$800 million range across all platforms. “Breaking $900 million would be a Winter Games first,” he said. Sales are so strong that Lovinger said some days during the Winter Olympics are already sold out.

Lovinger told reporters in October that a quarter of the revenue for both events would be tied to brands who are advertising during both the Super Bowl and the Olympics; that percentage has increased to a third of total ad revenue for both events, he said.

The Super Bowl brands include a “traditional mix” for the big game, with strong presence in the automotive, theatrical, consumer packaged goods, consumer electronics and telco categories.

While advertisers threatened earlier in the season to pull their NFL ads if coverage persisted of the national anthem protests, and Super Bowl LII’s executive producer said two days ago that the broadcast won’t hesitate to show any protesting players during the game, Lovinger said no Super Bowl advertisers have express concern about the controversy. “All we’ve seen is enthusiasm for the Super Bowl,” he said.

Last year, Fox still had Super Bowl inventory available in the last few days before the game. In 2016, CBS also did not wrap its Super Bowl sales until the last minute, part of CBS Corp. chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves’ attempt to maximize revenue by holding back a few spots and giving a desperate advertiser the chance to pay through the nose at the 11th hour to get into the game.


@jasonlynch jason.lynch@adweek.com Jason Lynch is TV/Media Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.
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