Eye net looks to mine a mint from Bowl ads
Grab your chips and dip, it’s Super Bowl Ad Time.With ratings of 40 (compared to a top-ranked “Friends” episode at 15) the NFL’s big game is still the high-water market for TV advertising — even in an era when audience erosion threatens to wreak havoc on the broadcast ad models. Eight of the last 11 most-watched U.S. TV programs were Super Bowls. This year’s viewing extravaganza on CBS, which commences with early-morning pre-game shows and flows directly into the premiere of “Survivor All Stars” after the postgame rehash, means megamillions to the net. The net has been selling 60 in-game spots, with media buyers claiming that pricing looks to be up 7%-9% over that for last year’s game. Informal tallies suggest the average 30-second spot during the three hour-plus match-up (in only 20 or so minutes is the ball actually in motion) is going for $2.3 million, and any slots CBS can’t get its price for will likely be used for valuable promotions for its own shows. Among this years big pitchers are food and beer purveyors Anheuser-Busch, PepsiCo and Frito Lay, tech brands IBM, Monster.com and AOL, all the major Hollywood studios, General Motors, Mitsubishi and all three erectile dysfunction drugs, Viagra, Levitra and Cialis. Sony will offer up the first spot for “Spider-Man 2,” while Disney’s Touchstone Pictures is expected to hype upcoming tentpole “The Alamo.” Universal is plugging “Van Helsing” or “The Chronicles of Riddick” starring Vin Diesel.