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Fox goes bowling for $$$

Advertisers won't pay high price, media buyers say

It’s not even World Series time yet and already Fox is soliciting advertisers to fork over an unprecedented $2.5 million for a 30-second ad spot during next year’s Super Bowl telecast.

In this soft economy, media buyers are saying there’s no way the network will nab such a price for Super Bowl XXXVI, which will be broadcast on Jan. 27.

“It seems a little high,” said Kris Magel, national broadcast VP at Optimedia Intl. “That’s a pretty significant increase in a market where increases aren’t being afforded to anyone.”

In 2000, when ABC aired the Super Bowl, ad prices were driven up to a $2.2 million high by tech companies clamoring for time.

Dot-com fumble

“The days of the dot-com roster are gone. We may have seen pricing on that property top out for the time being,” said Dean Luplow, VP and media director at Starcom Worldwide.

Spots during last year’s game, broadcast on CBS, eventually sold for an average of $2 million. The Eye had initially sought prices in the $2.4 million-$2.5 million range but relented once it became clear the market wasn’t buying into the increases.

Prestige buy

Even in a weak economy, however, some advertisers may be willing to make the pricey investment simply because the Super Bowl is event programming known, in part, for its innovative advertising.

“The Super Bowl is the most valuable television property around in primetime by virtue of the fact that it has the highest audience retention of any show on television,” said Stacey Lynn Koerner, VP of research at TN Media. “People look forward to watching the commercials. You can’t ask for better attention than that.”

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