In accordance with its stature as America’s greatest secular holiday, the Super Bowl has been super-sized. Over the course of the last decade, ad time in the NFL’s showcase game has soared 27 percent, as commercial spots and network promos have expanded from a total of 82 in 2001 to 104 in Super Bowl XLIV.
According to research from Kantar Media, CBS’ Jan. 28, 2001, presentation of Super Bowl XXXV featured 40 minutes and 15 seconds of commercial messaging; but for a few retrograde years, the allotment of spots has steadily increased.
Last year’s Saints-Colts battle on CBS was punctuated by 47 minutes and 50 seconds of ads and network promos. In terms of quantifiable airtime, that 2,870-second load marked an 18 percent time differential versus the Giants-Ravens blowout 10 years earlier.
Viewers who tuned in for the last 10 Super Bowl broadcasts were exposed to a whopping 425 minutes of commercial time, per Kantar, which estimated the total value of that load at around $1.62 billion.
That the average price of a Super Bowl spot keeps increasing is old news to even the most casual football fan, although the rate of change over the last decade is worth noting. In 2001, a 30-second spot cost around $2.2 million, which led CBS to rake in $136.4 million in ad sales revenue. Two years ago, the cost of reaching the 98.7 million consumers who tuned in for the Steelers-Cardinals showdown was pegged at an historic $3 million a pop, an increase of 36 percent from 2001 levels.
As paid advertising has steadily bulked up, the same principle has held true with network promos. Back in 2006, ABC ran 7 minutes and 20 seconds’ worth of in-house promos, accounting for nearly 17 percent of its total load. At an estimated $2.5 million per 30 seconds, that inventory was worth some $36.7 million.
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