×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

NBCU Says Rio Olympic Sales Top $1 Billion

Even an outbreak of the Zika virus in Brazil can’t keep Madison Avenue from spending big on the 2016 Olympics slated to take place in Rio de Janeiro. NBCUniversal said it had sold more than $1 billion in digital and TV advertising for its coming marathon broadcast of the contests, and expects it to capture a record amount of national advertising for a televised media event.

The Comcast unit’s announcement comes about four months earlier than when it was achieved for the company’s telecast of the 2012 Summer Olympics from London in July of 2012. The brisk pace suggests NBCU’s ability to televise the event in nearly the same time zone as U.S. viewers – there is a one-hour time difference — will allow the company to place more emphasis on primetime scheduling, when it charges the most money for commercials. In past broadcasts from places like Beijing, NBC has been forced to telecast important events at odd hours, and then repackage those moments for primetime.

“Advertisers know that integrating their brands in front of Olympic viewers is good for their businesses,” said Seth Winter, executive vice president of advertising sales for NBC Sports Group, in a prepared statement. “We continue to expect to set the Olympic record for national ad sales.”

NBCU’s Olympics broadcast, which typically preempts programming across its broadcast and cable networks, is slated to begin August 5.

Madison Avenue appears to be betting that another live sports event will capture the fancy of the American viewing public in ways that normal prime-time fare will not. In previous interviews, Winter cited robust demand from automotive marketers, movie studios, fast-food outlets and consumer-technology makers, and suggested sponsors were attracted by the fact that the coming Olympics would have more “live” hours of events than previous telecasts. The speedier-than-usual sales process would also indicate that advertisers are not alarmed by the outbreak of the Zika virus in Brazil. The malady appears to be spread in party by mosquitoes and has been linked to severe birth defects.

NBCUniversal secured about $1.3 billion for the London Olympics, according to data from Kantar Media – a new record compared with the $850 million NBCU captured for its 2008 coverage from Beijing.

The pace of ad sales will likely prove welcome to senior executives at NBCU and its parent, which will want to offset the massive cost of securing Olympics broadcast rights.  In 2014, the International Olympic Committee unveiled a $7.65 billion pact with NBCU that gives the company all U.S. media rights to Olympic games through 2032. Previously, NBCU struck an agreement in 2011 to pay $4.38 billion for games from 2014 through 2020. NBCUniversal has with each new Olympics telecast made more of the content available via digital means.

 

More TV

  • Dom Delport

    Vice Swings to Profit in the U.K., Eyes International Partnerships

    After a tumultuous period involving harassment scandals, job losses and restructuring, Vice has registered a small profit in the U.K., according to the company’s latest results. The uptick is welcome news for Vice as its new international boss, Dominique Delport, scopes out new production and partnership possibilities for the company’s content business. The U.K. was [...]

  • Stephen Colbert

    Stephen Colbert Mocks Former CBS Chief Leslie Moonves on 'Late Show'

    Leslie Moonves was known to take an active dislike of David Letterman making fun of him during that host’s tenure on CBS’ “The Late Show.” He probably isn’t enjoying being mentioned by Stephen Colbert either. Colbert used his monologue on Tuesday’s broadcast to poke fun at the former CBS Corp. CEO, who yesterday learned that [...]

  • Ruth Wilson and Idris Elba'Luther Series

    'Luther' Creator Neil Cross Working on Show's Movie Version, Idris Elba Says

    A movie version of crime series “Luther” is moving forward, with writer-creator Neil Cross working on the script, the show’s star Idris Elba confirmed at the launch of Season 5 in London. “We are really advancing on getting a movie version [of the show] up on the screen,” Elba said. “Neil is beavering away on [...]

  • THE VOICE -- "Blind Auditions" --

    TV News Roundup: NBC Announces Midseason Premiere Dates

    In today’s roundup, NBC reveals midseason premiere dates for six shows, including “The Voice.” DATES  NBC has announced midseason premiere dates for four returning and two new series. “The Voice” will air Feb. 25 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, Feb. 26 at 8 p.m., and March 5 at 8 p.m. It will return April 23 at 8 [...]

  • Penny Marshall Dead Obit

    Remembering Penny Marshall, Who Forged Her Own Path and Paved the Way for Others

    She was a natural comedian — fearless and funny, willing to trade on her natural Bronx brogue to craft a sassy and street-wise character that was tailor-made for sitcoms. But Penny Marshall, who died Monday night at the age of 75, proved throughout her long career that she had so much more in the way [...]

  • David Rhodes CBS News

    CBS News Faces New Challenges in Weeks Ahead

    At CBS News, President David Rhodes has a series of important decisions to make that could affect the trajectories of some of TV’s best-known news programs. As its parent company seeks to move forward from recent seismic events – the ouster of its former CEO, Leslie Moonves; a corporate probe into its workplace culture; and [...]

  • European Union Placeholder

    Europe, Hollywood Hail Landmark E.U. Territorial Licensing Agreement

    Industry organizations and major companies in Europe and Hollywood welcomed Tuesday a high-level European Union agreement that in large part preserves producers’ ability to sell movies and TV shows on an exclusive territory-by-territory basis. Territorial licensing is a financial backbone of the film and TV business in Europe. Recognition of such licensing came last Thursday in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content