Super Bowl ads sell out every year, of course. But today’s news that NBC has landed a record average price of $3.5 million for a 30-second spot in its February 5 broadcast of NFL’s championship game is notable because it reaffirms how important live sports on TV are to advertisers. And the Super Bowl is the biggest live event of all in an increasingly fractured media world, with a U.S. record 111 million viewers tuning in to last year’s game on Fox. That network received about $3 million per ad for the game between Green Bay and Pittsburgh, won by the Packers. The double-digit price increase for this year’s game in Indianapolis includes the $4 million one sponsor paid for a spot, an NBC spokesman told Bloomberg. The network also confirmed it has sold out its digital ads, after announcing last month it would live-stream the game for the first time. The Wall Street Journal writes that companies lined up for the 70 in-game spaces are perennials Anheuser-Busch InBev, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, with car makers GM, Volkswagen, Audi, Hyundai and Kia making up the biggest sector.

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