EXCLUSIVE: With Super Bowl XLVIII national ad inventory selling for upward of $4 million per 30-second spot, the local markets also are asking unprecedented numbers to advertise on the most-watched TV day in history. Doesn’t mean they’ll get them, but the local markets definitely are hoping to bring in the big bucks by gameday on February 2. According to one media buyer with more than 30 years of experience, the local Fox station in New York is asking $1 million per 30-second spot, while in L.A., the asking price is $550,000 per :30. As for other top TV markets, the local Fox station in Chicago is asking for $400,000 per, and Dallas wants $215,000.
“It’s crazy to pay this at the local level, but they get that or a little under,” the buyer said. “In New York, even though they ask $1 million, they’ll probably get $850,000 per 30. But even so, it’s an incredible amount.”
The viewership numbers for the NFL‘s Super Bowl Sunday are astounding. Last year, an average of 108 million viewers watched the Baltimore Ravens defeat the San Francisco 49ers — despite a 34-minute power outage in the stadium. With numbers like that, it’s no wonder that even the pregame show asks are as high as $2.5 million and lower down to $100,000, depending on where the spot runs.
Fox and the other networks sell Super Bowl advertising nationally noting the return of investment. According to Neil Mulcahy, EVP of Fox Sports Sales, “The return on investment for a unit bought for $2 million is $10 [million] or $11 million with Super Bowl ads, because they are played repeatedly you can have 30 days of exposure [for one buy].”
The market research data Fox is quoting is now six years old, and that return on investment is likely higher now. The data all centers on research from a MillwardBrown report commissioned in 2007 by Fox, CBS and NBC — the networks that have an interest in selling the Super Bowl. The report specifically states: “One Super Bowl spot generates as much sales as 250 regular TV spots. … Advertisers on average garner more than 11% sales uplift in the month following the game.”
Perhaps, it would serve the networks well to commission a new study. I mean, a six-year-old study? Come on, guys, it’s time.