2 Super Bowl Spots Remain

NEW YORK Fox has just two 30-second in-game commercial spots left for the Feb. 3, 2008 Super Bowl telecast—and those are units the network is expected to hold onto until closer to game time. Sources said there are more than two advertisers interested in the remaining slots.

At the end of October, Fox had sold about 56 of the 63 in-game 30-second avails, with the price peaking at about $2.7 million per unit. But sources said at least one of the five spots since sold has brought in $3 million. Fox officials would not comment.

ABC holds the record price for an in-game Super Bowl spot, getting $3.3 million for one 30-second Super Bowl spot from netpliance.com in the 2000 Super Bowl.

As Mediaweek reported last month, Fox’s early near Super Bowl sellout is in stark contrast to the past several years, when the broadcast network airing the Super Bowl scrambled to sell its in-game commercial inventory right up until game time.

Last year, CBS had sold only 42 in-game units by mid-January, and media buyers say it’s been many years since a network has reached a Super Bowl sellout level as early as Fox this year.

The Super Bowl has become a hard sell for all the National Football League TV rights holders over the past few years because of the pressure to produce high-quality creative commercials, on top of the hefty price per 30-second spot.

But Fox this year offered advertisers two innovations as value-added incentives that helped motivate particularly movie companies and automakers to participate in a bigger way.

A deal between Fox and MySpace (both News Corp. companies) will enable in-game Super Bowl advertisers to have their commercials placed on a special Super Bowl site on MySpace, where the advertisers can also add special video, such as extended movie trailers. The MySpace site will be promoted during the Super Bowl telecast to drive viewers to the site.