Super Bowl, Olympics May Bring Windfall to Comcast

Comcast's NBC is airing both the Super Bowl and the Olympics in February, a double-whammy sports extravaganza that the company expects to yield $1.4 billion in ad sales, helping it justify the hefty price it's paying for both events.

NBC is banking heavily on these sports events since traditional TV ratings have slumped in recent years. Live sports are marquee TV events that draw most of the largest TV audiences, but even those ratings have declined. More Americans are dumping their cable packages -- Comcast lost 33,000 video customers in the fourth quarter and 151,000 for all of 2017 -- and advertisers are following consumers to their phones.

Spending on U.S. TV ads is expected to grow an anemic 0.4 percent this year, according to eMarketer.

In the October-December quarter, NBCUniversal's broadcast TV ad revenue fell 6.5 percent, after a boost in 2016 from election ads. As it adapts to a slowing TV market, NBC is continuing some digital efforts from Rio and expanding others to meet viewers wherever they are -- whether in front of a TV or not.

The Super Bowl

The Super Bowl reaches more than 100 million people in the U.S., outstripping every other TV event. It's the most expensive ad time on TV.

This year's Super Bowl is Feb. 4 and follows a two-year slump in regular-season NFL ratings, according to ESPN . But NBC has said it is not worried about a lack of interest. The game is an event that "transcends sport and even the game itself," Dan Lovinger, an NBC Sports ad-sales executive, said in January, about three weeks before the game.

NBC said then that it had nearly sold out Super Bowl ad spots and that on average, companies are paying more than $5 million for 30-second ads during the game. Kantar Media expects rates slightly higher than...

Comments are closed.