With fewer than 90 days to go before the Olympic torch arrives at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, NBC Universal still has a solid chunk of inventory left to sell. And while the ad marketplace has begun showing signs of life in the past few weeks, the Peacock faces an uphill climb if it is to hit its volume target.
Per media agency estimates, NBCU must move between 30 percent and 35 percent of its 2010 Winter Games avails if it’s to be wrapped by the time the first athlete points his skis down the jump at Whistler Olympic Park. That NBC is pacing behind precedent isn’t exactly an unexpected development, given the recession. In late November 2006, the network was about 85 percent sold out for the Torino Games, well on its way to setting a record haul of $930 million. That same year saw the U.S. economy grow 2.7 percent.
Four years ago, sponsors of NBC’s Winter Olympics telecast paid between $500,000 and $700,000 per :30, and an ad in the 2010 Games could fetch as much as $800,000. That said, media buyers suggested that NBC is now much more flexible on pricing.