NFL Net’s Thursday Already a Sales Winner

Network inches closer to sellout

As it gets set to kick off its sixth season of Thursday Night Football on Nov. 10, NFL Network is close to selling out its eight-game prime-time slate.

According to David Pattillo, the NFL’s vice president of media sales, the net has sold more than 80 percent of its in-game inventory, holding back spots in the latter half of the schedule to accommodate scatter buys.

Auto, retail, and QSR have been particularly active in the lead-up to TNF, and studio clients are also a big part of the mix. “From a timing standpoint, we’re the perfect platform for studios,” Pattillo said. “Thursday nights are highly sought after; they can make or break your opening weekend.”

Bolstered by unprecedented demand for the NFL—NBC started the season with only a handful of remaining Super Bowl spots—buys are also being boosted by a particularly strong TNF schedule. Sears returns as the pregame sponsor, and Kay Jewelers is back for the wrap. Newcomer Kia will sponsor the TNF halftime show.

Based on SNL Kagan numbers, NFL Network last year took in $90.4 million in net ad sales revenue, up 38 percent versus 2009. The channel is available in 60 million homes.