Super Bowl Alert: Protests, Steelers Synergy and the Brands on the Sidelines

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USA broadcaster NBC said on Thursday it expected to hit ad sales records for the Super Bowl and Olympic Winter Games, both of which it will air next month, showing that advertisers are hungry for live events that draw viewers on a real-time basis.

Sports said the Super Bowl was almost sold out, with prices expected to average more than $5 million per 30-second spot.

Despite ratings softness during the regular National Football League season, NBC expects Super Bowl LII to set a single-day record for ad revenue by a media company. The Olympic Winter Games will be held from February 9-25 in Pyeongchang, South Korea. "So if there are players that choose to kneel, they will be shown live", said Fred Gaudelli, via Adweek, at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. Potential protestors will have an opportunity to make a statement in front of a massive audience, as 112.2 million people watched Super Bowl LI last season - the fifth most-watched program in television history.

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. The average game was viewed by 1.6 million fewer people than tuned in previous year. During that weekend over 200 players, executives, and coaches, protested the anthem and President Trump. It is meant to call attention to what the protesting players see as a pattern of racism in the treatment of African-Americans by US police.

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.

Lovinger said about 30% of his revenue was coming for advertiser who are buying spots in both big events.

"All we have seen is enthusiasm for the Super Bowl", he said.

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