the priciest slice of prime-time real estate is once again a 30-second spot in NBC's "Sunday Night Football." Marketers looking to hitch their wagon to NBC's weekly juggernaut are paying on the order of S665.375 per unit, with late scatter buys from the likes of movie studios and telco brands pacing well over the $700,000 mark While the sums commanded by NBC at first blush may seem extravagant -- for what it's
worth, the cost per:30 is almost exactly 13 times the U.S. median household income -- it's not as if advertisers are throwing their money down a rat hole. Per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, "Sunday Night Football" in 2014 was the most-watched, top-rated program in prime time, averaging 21.3 million viewers and a 12.4 household (HH) rating By way of comparison, America's No. 2 TV sports league, the National Basketball Association, averaged a 2.2 household rating over the course of its 15 regular-season broadcasts lastseason on ABC. Take away the prime time" qualifier and "Sunday Night Football" isn't even the biggest program on TV. That honor last season went to Fox and its Sunday slate of eight late afternoon national NFC broadcasts, which averaged 26.6 million viewers and a 15.5 HH rating. And hard on Fox's heels was CBS, whose AFC-heavy late afternoon Sunday package averaged 25.5 million viewers and a 14.8 HH rating. Fox's NFC deal gives it a leg up in 8 of the NFL's top 10 urban markets, places like New York and Chicago, Philadelphia and Dallas, where football is less a pastime than a secular religious cult that encourages tailgating. But CBS's hybrid AFC-NFC showcase is itself no slouch, as the Tiffany network this year will air two Cowboysgames and another pair of Seahawks contests, giving it a chance to showcase the league's most- watched and highest-rated teams, respectively. Fox will once again command the highest ad rate on TV for a regularly-scheduled program, securing around $689.225 for 30 seconds of time. CBS is asking around $637,415 per unit. ESPN is asking around
$427.685. Automotive remains a big backer of both weeknight broadcasts, as Toyota has returned as the halftime sponsor while Lexus is back to support the 12-minute "TNF" intermission
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