NBC sells out of Super Bowl ads, hits high point of $7 million per spot

By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links

NBC has sold out its Super Bowl LVI advertising inventory.

The network announced Feb. 3, 2022 that all ad time during the NBC and Telemundo broadcasts, as well as all digital platforms, including streamer Peacock has been spoken for.

Ad slots were going for as high as $7 million per 30 seconds. That’s up from the $5.8 to $6.2 million NBC had suggested at its upfront and the $5.5 million per slot CBS got in 2021.

Rates above $6 million would be significant and likely some of the highest in Super bowl history.

Most Super Bowl broadcasts include roughly 70 30 second spots, meaning most games can net over half a million dollars in ad revenue. That figure can be further boosted by ads sold during pre-game, post-game and other special programming that surrounds the event.

This this year, $7 million represents the top amount at least one advertiser paid, but it’s likely many others didn’t spend nearly that much.

NBC, like most networks, often offers discounts on advertising if clients commit to buy ads during other programming, including across the NBCUniversal family of networks. Longtime NBC advertisers can also get discounts.

In addition, NBC is also carrying the 2022 Winter Olympics this year ā€” marking the first time the Super Bowl and an Olympics have aired during the same time period ā€” a move that it made, at least in part, to capitalize selling package deals across both events. It achieved this by trading the 2021 game for the 2022 one with CBS.

Normally the Super Bowl rotates between the networks that currently hold NFL broadcast rights in a pre-determined order, but the CBS-NBC trade disrupted this.

CBS, in turn, was able to bundle some of its Super Bowl ad sales with NCAA tournament spots.

NBC is also marking its first Super Bowl with its streaming service, Peacock, which has a free, ad supported tier and likely tried to get advertisers with lower budgets to buy time there. It also likely enticed some advertisers to “try out” running ads on Peacock by offering bundled rates with discounts.

One of the main reasons Super LVI is commanding such high rates is that many new advertisers are coming on board. About 30 advertisers during the 2021 match are running their first Super Bowl spots.

The U.S. advertising market took a hit due to the pandemic closing down many businesses starting in 2020. Many companies cut back on advertising during this time but the market is heating up again, despite some verticals, such as food service and hospitality, being hit particularly hard by the pandemic.

Many companies in these categories, however, are ramping up ad spends in hopes that the declining number of COVID-19 cases mean that people will begin eating out and traveling again.

The advertising market has also been boosted by companies buying commercials to advertise that they’re hiring as the labor market becomes increasingly competitive. Likewise, job hunting sites are also running ads geared at both employers looking to hire and those looking for work.