In announcing the sell-out, the company did not offer an overall average rate per 30 seconds, but several tailwinds have pushed rates up more than 20% over the last time NBC had the game in 2018. “Only a handful” of pregame ad slots remain available, NBCU said.
After a year of partly-filled stadiums and Covid tentativeness ahead of vaccine rollouts, the climate for last year’s game was decidedly different than this year’s edition, which will be held on February 13. CBS got about $5.5 million for 30 seconds of air time in 2021, in line with Fox the year before. Comparisons are inexact, however, as ads this year will run across broadcast, streaming and the first-ever Spanish-language network broadcast on Telemundo.
Ratings for the NFL have surged in the playoffs after an already stellar regular season, making the Super Bowl an even more appealing target than usual. More than 30 advertisers have a presence on the big game for the first time, representing 40% of the total. A number of movie studios have bought in and categories like tech and insurance have taken their place alongside cars, beer and snack food as major categories. Travel has bounced back, as has health and wellness.
“The NFL has never been stronger and has led us to new records this year,” said Mark Marshall, president of advertising and partnerships at NBCU. “From Sunday Night Football to Football Night in America and through the nail-biting playoffs, we’ve seen an increased appetite for fans to watch the NFL across all our platforms. This multiplatform consumption has attracted even more advertisers who have the desire for the immediate scaled reach of sports.”
Like its media peers, NBCUniversal has increasingly blended its sales approach across linear, streaming, digital and social. The company’s One Platform is positioned as a single solution for buyers. Peacock, which launched in mid-2020, is primarily an ad-driven streaming business, though execs at NBCU and parent company Comcast last week outlined a strategy to boost subscriber levels. The service’s premium tier has 9 million paying subscribers and another 7 million who get it bundled through their pay-TV subscription.