TVNewsCheck‘s Michael Depp and John Consoli look at sports advertising’s gangbuster performance, even while sports viewership is down, and how prospects are looking for the trend to hold steady. Read more about the sports advertising boon here.
Live sports viewership may be down in COVID-buffeted times, but skyrocketing advertiser demand has given networks all the leverage. “Live sports are the only vehicle on TV now that has mass reach appeal and big event status,” says one agency executive. Another adds: “Right now, it’s the only game in town.” Note: This story is available to TVNewsCheck Premium members only. If you would like to upgrade your free TVNewsCheck membership to Premium now, you can visit your Member Home Page, available when you log in at the very top right corner of the site or in the Stay Connected Box that appears in the right column of virtually every page on the site. If you don’t see Member Home, you will need to click Log In or Subscribe.
Michael Depp and Harry Jessell discuss key steps the industry must take to meaningfully foster diversity and inclusion. They also consider the damage TV has weathered from sports advertising losses and how they can be mitigated.
Sports leagues’ COVID-19 shutdowns cost networks more than $3 billion in advertising, but savings from rights fees and production costs reduced that to less than $1 billion. Meanwhile sales for the forthcoming NFL season, including the Super Bowl, are trending down, hampered by COVID uncertainty.
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.