Fox Sells Nearly 80% Of Ad Time On Super Bowl LIV, At Healthy Rate Increase

Dade Hayes

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Looking to keep the NFL momentum going until February, Fox Sports says it has sold about 78% of its total ad inventory for Super Bowl LIV, which will be held in Miami on February 2.

Two and a half months before the big game, Fox confirmed having fetched prices in the range of $5.5 million to $5.6 million for a 30-second spot. That’s up significantly from the roughly $5.1 million to $5.3 million CBS took in last year. CBS took in $382 million in total revenue from the game, according to Kantar Media, which would mean a $400 million-plus Super Sunday is in store for Fox.

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Only 17 spots of the 77 available are still left, with buyers circling the remaining openings.

NFL has regained its mojo, with ratings in the aggregate are up 9% in the season to date. Anxiety over the anthem-kneeling controversy, a glut of mediocre games and wariness of head trauma and other factors pushed ratings lower in 2016 and 2017.

The influx of interest in the ads on the Super Bowl follow word last spring that Fox is tweaking the long-established approach to arranging the ad breaks, the first significant shift of the game’s format since the early 1980s. The game will feature four fewer breaks than recent editions, going from five breaks per quarter to four. The net number of ads, will stay the same, but it will feature fewer “A” and “Z” spots, as the first and last ads to appear during each break are known in the trade.

Seth Winter, formerly with NBC, joined Fox Corp. earlier this year to head ad sales for Fox Sports. Former Fox News sales chief Marianne Gambelli was promoted to the top ad sales position last year.

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