Upfront ad sales spending by agencies reaches $2.4 billion. That’s about $300 million more than last season at this same time, and is largely because every one of those networks saw regular season ratings increases for their NFL telecasts last season.
The unit of Fox that for more than a decade has sold the national inventory for all the nation’s major RSNs — including soon-to-be owner Sinclair — is a favorite not only of RSNs, but also of sports-minded media agencies because it’s a one-stop shop, allowing them to easily buy major professional and college on a national basis.
National TV sports generated $10.9 billion in advertising expenditure last year, compared to $10.3 billion one year prior, according to Nielsen’s State of the Media: Year in Sports. Measuring ad spend during sporting events on network and cable TV from 4Q 2010 through 3Q 2011, Nielsen also saw that cable has an increasing share of those ad dollars — growing 37.3% year over year compared to 5.9% for sports ad spending in general.
NBC Universal will announce today that John Miller, the former chief marketing officer for its television group, is coming out of semiretirement to set up and head the NBC Sports Agency. The ad agency will market all parts of the NBC Sports Group, which will soon include Comcast’s sports cable channels. Its formation is another indication that Comcast wants to seize opportunities in the sports arena, where ESPN is dominant.