Monday, January 11, 2021

NFL Drops Promos So Nets Can Air More Commercials

The National Football League is allowing CBS, NBC and Fox to sell an additional two minutes of commercials during the playoff games leading up to the Super Bowl, according to The Wall Street Journal citing network and league officials.

That will mean several million dollars of new revenue for the networks, as NFL postseason games are among the most sought-after content for advertisers. A spot usually runs as high as $1 million during the early playoff rounds and can top $2 million for the conference championships that determine who plays in the Super Bowl, network executives said.

The extra ad inventory will be for all the playoff games but doesn’t include the Super Bowl, which will air on ViacomCBS Inc.’s CBS on Feb. 7. CBS is seeking as much as $5.5 million per commercial for the Super Bowl, people with knowledge of the matter have said.

The league agreed to the additional ad inventory after requests from the broadcast networks, which had already sold the bulk of commercial time for the playoffs and wanted to capitalize on strong demand from advertisers.

Sectors spending heavily on the NFL of late include insurance and technology, more than picking up the slack left from Hollywood’s cutting out much of its advertising as the coronavirus pandemic keeps the bulk of U.S. theaters shut.

To create the two minutes of new inventory, the NFL and the networks are each giving up one promotional spot, totaling one minute, and the league is allowing another minute of commercial time to be created.

In a typical game, the networks have just over nine minutes a quarter for commercials and promotions through four commercial breaks. The networks and league believe two more minutes of commercials spread throughout four quarters won’t overwhelm the audience.

The broadcast networks have endured one of their toughest years in recent memory. The pandemic has severely affected their ability to produce new episodes of entertainment programming for the fall TV season, leading to substantial declines in network ratings and the value of their commercial inventory.

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