Fox Sells Out the Super Bowl

In-game spots fetch $4 million per :30

Fox has sold the last of its available in-game Super Bowl spots, securing an average rate of $4 million per 30 seconds of airtime for the Feb. 2 broadcast.

Media buyers said that latecomers who urgently wanted to break into the NFL’s marquee event invested as much as $4.5 million per :30.

While much of the heavy lifting has been done in advance of the big game, Neil Mulcahy, evp of Fox Sports ad sales, said that there are still plenty of opportunities for marketers to pick up spots in pre- and post-game programming as well as in the network’s digital streaming service.

“The in-game inventory is sold out, but we still have an incredible array of programming available,” Mulcahy said, adding that the day will kick off with a special opening ceremony in New York’s Times Square set to air on Fox Sports 1.

Among the advertisers that have nailed down Super Bowl time are usual suspects Anheuser-Busch InBev, Pepsi, Doritos and Mars. Dannon confirmed that it is returning to the broadcast with a 30-second spot for its Oikos brand, and GoDaddy is in for a pair of somewhat more restrained :30s.

Mulcahy said the automotive category will be as well-represented this year as it has been in recent years, noting that last season’s surprise holdout, General Motors, is back in the saddle for the MetLife Stadium event. While GM has not disclosed the extent of its investment, buyers said the automaker is using the Super Bowl to showcase its Chevrolet marque. It will also resume its longstanding sponsorship of the post-game MVP award, which culminates with the presentation of a new car to the honoree.

Expect a few long-form commercials this time around, as select automakers will roll out 120- and 90-second ads. “I think the autos totally have it figured out. They can measure the immediate impact they can get from their sales figures…and the return on investment is three times what they pay [for airtime].” Last year’s most impactful long-form execution was the two-minute Dodge Ram “Farmer” spot.

Linear TV avails aside, Fox is scaring up business for its digital feed. Last year, some 10 million people took in CBS’ live stream of Super Bowl XLVII, and while that represented just a fraction of the national TV audience, it’s still not an insignificant figure.

“The inventory is moving quickly around our live-streaming product,” said Marla Newman, svp of Fox Sports digital ad sales. “Structurally, the spot loads will be similar [to the linear broadcast], but the advertisers may be different. Many of the clients who are buying time in the stream are in-game as well, but this is also a great opportunity for us to serve those who may have been shut out of the broadcast.”

Newman said that she believes the Super Bowl will be the largest live-streaming event of the year, adding that Fox is confident that they will double CBS’ year-ago traffic. The stream will be unauthenticated, which will allow for immediate, unfettered access.

Last year’s Ravens-49ers blackout brawl averaged 108.7 million viewers and a 46.4 rating/69 share. CBS sold spots for $3.8 million per :30, although a number of late buys topped the $4 million mark.

Publish date: December 4, 2013 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT