The official announcement is expected tomorrow, but we can confirm that Beyonce has signed on to play the halftime show of Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans on February 3, live on CBS. There’s always plenty of hype surrounding this choice, and for good reason: Madonna last year drew more average viewers for her halftime performance than the overall average of the game (and a good game at that, with the Giants knocking off the Patriots). Officials have been more careful with their halftime choices since Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” back in 2004, with the likes of mainstays Paul McCartney, Rolling Stones, Prince, Bruce Springsteen, The Who and Tom Petty getting the call post-Janet. But Beyonce is at the top of her game right now — and she can bring Jay-Z to boot.
CBS has sold more than half its advertising inventory for the 2013 broadcast of Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, Advertising Age reports. CBS also could sell-out levels approaching 80% in the next few weeks, CBS …
Viasat Broadcasting today announced that it has extended its live broadcasting rights to the National Football League (NFL) in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland, until the end of the 2017 NFL season. The rights include live broadcast coverage on free-TV and pay-TV, as well as live simulcast for mobile phones and the internet. Viasat has broadcast the NFL in the Nordic region since 2006.
Beginning with the 2012 season, Viasat Broadcasting’s rights include regular season games and all post-season games including the Super Bowl.
Sports television couldn’t have gotten off to a better start to the year than last night’s Super Bowl. NBC had the game, the most-watched event in TV history. A total of 111.3 million viewers tuned in to see the team from the nation’s largest media market win the championship in the nation’s most popular sport. As if anyone needed further proof, the New York Giants’ victory over the New England Patriots is the latest example of how important live sports is to broadcasters and the advertising industry that pays their bills. The leagues and the networks that show them know this better than ever, and watching how each exploits and benefits from this reality will make for a fun spectator sport in 2012 as they go head-to-head with the carriers who are increasingly blanching at the increasingly high fees sports-rich networks can and plan to command. In the middle and up for grabs is the biggest slice of what ZenithOptimedia estimates is $61.9 billion in expected TV ad spend this year, led by anticipation for the London Summer Olympics. Here’s a scorecard of the players to watch:
If the Super Bowl isn’t enough, the most powerful sports league flexed its muscle in December by inking a broadcast rights deal with NBC, CBS and Fox for a combined $27.5 billion over nine years — a whopping 63% increase over the previous contract. (ESPN and the NFL Network have a separate contract for cable.) The deal comes just in time for the networks and affiliates’ retransmission consent negotiations with cable and satellite providers and sets up a showdown over those fees – Miller Taback analyst David Joyce crunched the numbers and found that for all media partners to break even on the new contract, the average pay TV subscriber would have to pay an extra $11.23 a month, up $6.87 from the previous contract that ends after next season. It will be a serious fight. “Congress and the Federal Communications Commission need to throw a flag, because rules and regulations shouldn’t force consumers to bear the burden of broadcasters’ profligate spending, which will surely enrich NFL owners and players just as much as it will impoverish all pay-TV subscribers, particularly those who will never watch an NFL game,” American Cable Association CEO Matthew Polka said after the deal was announced. The new contract, struck in December, came after a labor lockout that threatened the start of the season and centered on how owners and players would split its revenue, including lucrative TV rights. In effect, the potential loss of games only proved how valuable the NFL is, much like the NBA’s own labor stoppage, which trimmed the season but it quickly re-upped with key advertisers and sponsors.
NBC bet big on the Olympics in June on the backs of new owner Comcast, blowing out rivals’ bids with a $4.38 billion move for a comprehensive rights deal through the 2020 Games. We’ll begin to figure out how smart that was right away: the network is prepping the London Summer Olympics for July and August. The all-in for Olympics programming is part of a bigger play by Comcast, which is setting itself up to compete with the likes of ESPN and Turner in the sports realm by rebranding its niche Versus channel the NBC Sports Network. Visions of ESPN’s $4.69-per-customer carriage fee are spurring the move — Versus took in $122.6 million in ad revenue last year, according to SNL Kagan, while ESPN took in $1.48 billion in ad sales and $5.27 billion in affiliate revenue. It’s a long-term play for sure, but Olympics coverage will plant NBC Sports Network’s flag in a bunch of new homes this summer, as eventually will new deals signed last year with the NHL (10 years, $2 billion; ESPN and Turner were in the race for that deal) and to a lesser extent Major League Soccer (three years, about $30 million). NBCUniversal and Comcast aren’t the only ones gunning for ESPN. Fox Sports in October beat out the sports giant for English-language rights to the next soccer World Cup contract in 2018 and 2022, in bidding that also saw NBCUniversal-owned Telemundo claim Spanish-language rights from Univision. Fox Sports and cable sibling FX also inked a multiyear deal with UFC, the mixed-martial arts league.
Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace is being released in 3D on Friday.
Hollywood has caught Q&A fever: I have now learned the Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences has plans to keep the Q&A spirit alive year-round and not just “in season”. Academy regulations loosening rules that previously forbid members from attending filmmaker Q&As were severely relaxed this year — particularly in the months leading up to nominations, when members could attend and even be served food and drink at receptions, a past no-no. Post-nomination Q&As are limited to screenings and nominees (or others connected to nominated movies) and members are allowed to appear at just two each, with no food or receptions. But the Q&A craze has spread, and I hear the Academy has decided to make them an option at their own weekend film programs starting in June at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre. The programs (usually two on Saturday and two Sunday) give studios and distributors the opportunity to have filmmakers and actors appear after their movies for Q&As with members. Previously only films were shown, but this could increase overall attendance, a goal of the Academy’s to encourage seeing films on the big screen.
NBC Enlists Pete Berg And Madonna For Series Promo Blitz During The Super Bowl
Video: NBC’s Musical Brotherhood Of Man
NBC took to the Super Bowl to promote most of its shows. It was exactly two years ago that Betty White’s appearance in a Super Bowl commercial launched the red-hot new stage of her career. NBC is hoping that her luck would rub off its reality series The Voice, whose big-budget, Pete Berg-directed Super Bowl promo featured the 90-year-old actress. Jay Leno’s Tonight Show spot with Madonna came nowhere near the fun Super Bowl spot he did for rival David Letterman two years ago. NBC also used the big game to introduce new America’s Got Talent judge Howard Stern, who behaved more like his outrageous shock jock persona than the thoughtful expert NBC brass have been touting. “Aside from his radio persona he is a very thoughtful, intelligent person,” NBC chief Bob Greenblatt said in January. “He is a huge fan of the show and wants to be a very good judge. … I don’t think he wants to be a shock jock judge. … AGT won’t become the Howard Stern Circus.” Judge for yourselves.
For today’s runup to the Super Bowl, NBC put together this little ditty:
It sure looks that way to Kantar Media’s SVP for Research Jon Swallen, who tracks the Super Bowl ad business closely. While other sponsors use the year’s most-watched TV event to showcase their funniest, most interesting, or most touching work, “nobody remembers (movie) commercials,” he says. “That’s because they run the same ads that they run all the time. In the Super Bowl it pales in comparison (to everything else) yet they pay the same money.” Last year no movie ad ranked among the 10 most watched, and re-watched, Super Bowl spots among TiVo owners, the DVR company reported. And the competition probably will be even tougher than usual in this Sunday’s game on NBC between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants. Swallen says we should see an increase in ads that will run a full minute or more. Madison Ave was impressed by the buzz Chrysler generated last year with its two-minute ode to Detroit featuring Eminem. Last year there were 10 ads lasting at least a minute, and they accounted for about 16% of all the spots, Kantar says.
If Peter Berg has his way, by Sunday night the New York Giants will be Super Bowl champions and there will be a lot more enthusiasm for Battleship, thanks to a 60-second spot that Berg and Universal will unleash during the first quarter. The first teaser got a “WTF” reaction as it introduced an alien component to a nautical theme culled from the venerable board game. Berg tells me that the the new long spot will introduce “more effects, more story and a bit more humor. Universal has spent generously for this, to show our aim to deliver major summer entertainment. The scope of the film will be apparent in the Super Bowl spot.” Berg’s influence is all over the commercial, including his convincing Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello to come up with the music for a spot which the studio won’t debut until game time.
Berg, who’ll be at the game, actually helmed two other TV spots that will be shown during the big game: He directed one for the returning NBC show The Voice, and another for the NFL which shows what the league is doing to improve awareness in trying to prevent head and neck injuries suffered on the field.
Here’s a teaser for Disney’s Super Bowl spot for John Carter. There’s a contest tie-in for a trip to Super Bowl XLVII in 2013 in New Orleans. Details within.
The Web is abuzz over this 10-second Super Bowl clip-tease featuring Matthew Broderick as a grown-up Ferris Bueller. What might he be advertising?
UPDATE: Jalopnik is reporting it’s for Honda, likely the CRV.
When a network falls to 8th place, it’s going to be hard to get eyeballs for its programming. So little wonder that NBCUniversal is planning a company-wide promotional blitz for massive coverage of Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis on the sports, news and entertainment front. It will also utilize Spanish-language programs, kids news services, theme parks, and in-flight programming to cover and promote the game. For the first time in the show’s history, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon will go on the road for a total of four shows from Indianapolis, the first-ever post Super Bowl Late Night live. Looking at this list, it’s clear this kind of omnipresence would have been frowned on by regulators once upon a time. No more. Here are the plans:
Coverage of Super Bowl XLVI from Indianapolis on Sunday, February 5 begins at Noon, ET with the Super Bowl XLVI Pre-Game Show. The following NBCUniversal properties and programs will have live presence in Indianapolis to cover Super Bowl XLVI: TODAY Show, Weekend TODAY, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, E! News, Access Hollywood, Bravo’s Top Chef, CNBC sports-business reporter Darren Rovell, Weather Channel’s Al Roker, Jim Cantore and Stephanie Abrams, Style correspondents, Jeannie Mai and Alexa Prisco, Golf Channel’s Feherty Live, • Telemundo, NBC SportsTalk, Scholastic Kids press corps reporter.
Here’s an issue that unites Democrats and Republicans in Massachusetts: Lawmakers there are virtually begging DirecTV and Sunbeam Television to end their contract standoff — or at least let Boston-area satellite subscribers see their hometown New England Patriots meet the New York Giants in the Super Bowl on February 5. It would be “almost unthinkable” to have local residents miss the game, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) said in a letter today to the companies. On January 14, the TV station owner took down its Boston NBC affiliate WHDH and CW affiliate WLVI — as well as Miami’s Fox affiliate WSVN. It wants higher fees for the stations; DirecTV says the price hike comes to 300% — more than it’s willing to pay. “If people in Boston miss the Super Bowl this year because of this dispute, I can assure you that it will lead more and more people to throw up their hands and say, ‘a pox upon both of their houses’,” Kerry wrote.