Super Bowl Ad Inventory Sells Out Early On Fox, With Healthy Rate Increase

Advertising inventory on Fox’s broadcast of Super Bowl LIV has sold out months before kickoff, with rates nearly 6% higher than the previous edition on CBS.

The game is set for February 2 in Miami.

While there is no bigger piece of beachfront TV property for advertisers than the Super Bowl, the big game has been taking longer and longer to sell out in recent years. Last year’s game finalized its last spot sale on the day of the game.

The highest price for a 30-second spot is $5.6 million, an increase over the $5.3 million top for Super Bowl LIII. Few specific advertisers or categories have been identified, but politics could make its presence felt in a way it hasn’t in the past. President Donald Trump has reportedly bought time on the game for his re-election bid.

For Fox, the sellout is the latest affirmation of its strategy. The company has been focusing on live events and sports as it operates a leaner and more focused operation in the wake of selling most of its previous incarnation, 21st Century Fox, to Disney. Fox Corp.’s portfolio includes the broadcast network as well as Fox News and three other cable networks, plus a string of local TV stations.

NFL ratings have risen this season, with Fox a major beneficiary as the network continues in the second year of a long-term deal for Thursday Night Football as well as NFC games on Sunday afternoons. Fox, which no longer has a studio linked to the network to supply scripted shows, has also scored with unscripted hit The Masked Singer. The reality show will have its season premiere after the Super Bowl.

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