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NBC sells out Super Bowl for record advertising revenue

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January 31st, 2009

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As NBC sports chief Dick Ebersol has even admitted they had the very good fortune of selling out 85% of the spots well beforehand and before the economy had completely been rocked. Reports are that the few remaining spots that were sold this week sold for noticeably under $3 million. I saw estimates of $2.4 million, but given the economy, still not shabby.

Also not pointed out in the release below is that between promotion of NBC properties, one GE spot and the first Hulu commercial ever more than 10 thirty second spots got soaked up. Hulu is a joint venture of NBC Universal and News Corp and the way the deal was set up apparently included $50 million in free television advertising.

Past Super Bowl ratings and 30 second spots costs.

Here's the NBC press release:

NBC SELLS OUT Super Bowl & SETS NEW RECORD

All-Time Super Bowl Record $206 Million in Advertising Revenue

Also Sets New Full-Day Super Bowl Revenue Mark of $261 Million

TAMPA - January 31, 2009 - Super Bowl XLIII on NBC is sold out. NBC has sold all game advertising for tomorrow's broadcast of Super Bowl XLIII and set a Super Bowl record of $206 million in advertising revenue, NBC Universal President and CEO Jeff Zucker announced today. NBC's $261 million in revenue for the full Super Bowl day, especially impressive in the current economic downturn, also sets a new Super Bowl milestone.

"These advertising milestones show the power of the NFL brand and the strength of the Super Bowl as a TV property in this economic climate," said Zucker. "The Super Bowl has become one of our country's biggest holidays, a uniquely American day, and advertisers recognized the value in being a part of it, as their commercials are nearly as big a part of the day as the football itself. This is an extraordinary story for NBC against the backdrop of this economy."

"The plan to aggressively sell the majority of our advertising early in the process at the record unit price of $3 million showed tremendous foresight," said Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics. "To finish selling out the Super Bowl in these last two weeks, in this economy and at record levels, is a testament to the dogged determination of Seth Winter [SVP, Sales & Marketing, NBC Sports]."

A total of 32 advertisers have taken time in Super Bowl XLIII across a broad spectrum of categories.

Fans of the advertisements featured in this Sunday's Super Bowl will be able to view those ads almost immediately after they air, on popular websites NBC.com, Hulu.com and Superbowl.com. In addition, users will be able to post their favorite ads on a blog or webpage through both the NBC.com and Hulu.com widget applications. Hulu will allow users to vote on their favorite ad, with the winner announced on Tuesday.

 
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