Super Bowl ads cost $5M, demand strong despite National Football League ratings drop

PM ET NBC Says Super Bowl Ads Nearly Sold Out Olympics sales expected to reach $900M

The troubles facing the NFL over the past season - such as national anthem protests, injuries and declining TV ratings - have not deterred advertising demand for NBC's February 4 telecast of Super Bowl LII.

A 30-second ad during NBC's Super Bowl telecast on February 4 is selling for "north of $5 million", NBC Sports advertising sales chief Dan Lovinger said during a conference call on Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Times. "If there are players who choose to kneel, they will be shown live", said NBC Sports executive producer Fred Gaudelli at an event on Tuesday. NBC has the Olympics through 2032 as part of a $12 billion deal, and it's one of three networks that will take turns carrying the Super Bowl through 2022.

Live events remain a bright spot for television advertisers as more viewers tend to watch their favorite shows on demand and fast-forward through the commercials. Every game since 2010 has drawn at least 106 million viewers.

Big Super Bowl ratings are important for ad revenue as the National Football League comes off the second season of declining viewership. "I was a Raiders and Ravens fan, and I'm telling you, it destroyed my soul when I watched the Super Bowl previous year". In 2017, viewership dropped nearly 10 percent to 14.9 million viewers, according to Nielsen.


The NFL's anthem protest movement began in the preseason of 2016, when then-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first sat, then knelt, in protest against police brutality.

NBC won't shy away from players who decide to protest during the National Anthem on Super Bowl Sunday.

In a separate media call, Dan Lovinger, executive vice president of advertising, said only a scant few of 's 30-second TV spots have not been sold.

Super Bowl 52 (LII) is Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018 at U.S. Bank Stadium (home of the Minnesota Vikings) in Minneapolis, Minn.

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