One story we always follow at Awful Announcing is the sale of Super Bowl ads in advance of the Big Game. During the recession, the NFL’s TV partners had some difficulty selling commercials and some were sold at reduced prices up until a week before airtime. In other years, the networks have found sponsors lining up to purchase ads. For CBS which will broadcast Super Bowl 50 in February, it’s finding the latter to be true.

According to Advertising Age, CBS is close to selling out Super Bowl 50’s inventory. CBS CEO Les Moonves told investors this week that just a handful of ads are left three months prior to the game. And advertisers are paying between $4.6 and $5.0 million for a 30 second commercial on the game. When CBS last aired the Super Bowl in 2013, it was asking for $3.8 million per spot and sold out close to a month before gametime.

And as the Super Bowl is a guaranteed ratings winner, the rates for ads continue to rise:

Over the last five seasons, the approximate asking price for a 30-second Super Bowl ad has increased by an average of 11.1% year over year.

And CBS is encouraged by its ratings for its regular season packages seeing its highest ratings for Sunday afternoon games in almost thirty years and increased numbers for Thursday Night Football going into the playoff drive.

So as the days get closer to Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, CA, CBS has some momentum knowing that it can hold a few spots open for any advertiser which wants to buy time at the last minute and won’t have to scramble to sell ads at a discounted price.

And for this Super Bowl, those watching online will be able to watch the ads at the same time as the television broadcast. CBS is selling ads as one buy so the commercials will be livestreamed for the first time. In the past, the TV and online ads were sold separately so those watching online would not see the ads in time with the broadcast. That is one reason why this season’s ads reached the $5 million mark.

Super Bowl XLIX’s ads on NBC cost in the neighborhood of $4.5 million.

[Advertising Age]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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