×
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

  • Series Mania: De Mensen, Reel One

    Series Mania: First Details on Co-Pro Pitching Project 'Capturing Big Mouth' (EXCLUSIVE)

    LILLE, France — Belgian production company De Mensen, which has just been acquired by France’s Newen, has teamed with Reel One Entertainment on a new cross-continental thriller series, “Capturing Big Mouth. The series will be pitched Monday at this year’s Series Mania Forum Co-pro Pitching section. It chronicles the unlikely rise and eventual fall of [...]

  • Daily Show Viacom

    Viacom, DirecTV Make Progress in Contract Talks, No Blackout After Deadline Passes

    UPDATED: Viacom and DirecTV executives went down to the wire Friday on a combative contract renewal negotiation with high stakes for both sides. The companies stayed in talks past the midnight Eastern contract expiration and the channels stayed up on AT&T’s platforms. Sources indicated early Saturday that the threat of a blackout had been averted. [...]

  • ABBY'S -- "Pilot" Episode 101 --

    TV Review: 'Abby's' Starring Natalie Morales

    “Abby’s,” NBC’s new comedy about a cranky bartender (Natalie Morales) and her inner circle of regulars, is aware of the inevitable “Cheers” comparisons. Created by “New Girl” writer Josh Malmuth and executive produced by uber-producer (and unabashed “Cheers” superfan) Mike Schur, “Abby’s” therefore makes a few key choices in order to differentiate itself as its [...]

  • Ryan Murphy Walk of Fame

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Sets Premiere Date for Ryan Murphy's 'The Politician'

    In today’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for Ryan Murphy’s “The Politician” series, and Kristin Cavallari will host “Paradise Hotel” on Fox.  DATES Reality star Kristin Cavallari will host Fox’s reboot of “Paradise Hotel,” an unscripted dating show in which a group of singles will check into a tropical resort and compete to check [...]

  • 'Selling Sunset': Producer Behind Netflix's First

    'Selling Sunset': Producer Behind Netflix's First Docusoap on the State of Reality TV

    Netflix crossed another unscripted threshold on Friday with the launch of “Selling Sunset,” an 8-episode series that follows a group of real estate agents on the Sunset Strip. The show is believed to be the streaming service’s first docusoap, the now-ubiquitous format first popularized in the early 2000s by shows like MTV’s “Laguna Beach” and [...]

  • Discovery CEO David Zaslav Sees 2018

    Discovery CEO David Zaslav Sees 2018 Compensation Soar to $129.4 Million

    Discovery Inc. president-CEO David Zaslav is once again making headlines for an enormous compensation package. Zaslav’s 2018 compensation soared to $129.44 million in 2018, fueled by stock options and grants awarded as the longtime Discovery chief signed a new employment contract last July that takes him through 2023 at the cable programming group. Zaslav received [...]

  • 'Supernatural' to End After Season 15

    'Supernatural' to End After Season 15 on The CW

    “Supernatural” is ending after 15 seasons. Series stars Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, and Misha Collins made the announcement in a video posted on Instagram on Friday. “We just told the crew that even though we’re very excited to be moving into our 15th season, it will be our last,” Ackles said. “15 years of a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content