CBS has sold 65% of the available commercial spots for next year's Super Bowl, according to sources, an impressive amount considering the still-dire economic circumstances. At this time last year, NBC had sold 85% of inventory, but CBS has had to battle the full force of the financial crisis that began a year ago.
CBS has sold about 40 of the 62 30-second spots on offer for Super Bowl XLIV sources said.
So far, prices for the Super Bowl, scheduled for Feb. 7 in Miami, are in the range of $2.7 million-$2.8 million per spot, which is flat to slightly lower than what NBC achieved for the 2009 telecast and flat to slightly higher than what Fox did for the 2008 game.
Last year, NBC averaged $2.8 million-$2.9 million per 30-second spot; some advertisers paid $3 million. In 2008, Fox averaged about $2.7 million for spots in the Super Bowl.
Sources at CBS said pricing for the 2010 game is "in line" with what NBC received last year. Buyers said that was feasible, depending on how "in line" is defined.
"Maybe for some of the inventory," said Larry Novenstern, executive vp and director of national electronic media at Publicis Groupe's Optimedia. "But for the 12 advertisers who paid $3 million last year, I don't think so."