CBS sells out Super Bowl spots

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Reuters reports CBS has sold all the ad spots for the television broadcast of the Super Bowl championship game this coming Sunday, the network said on Monday. In early December, CBS had sold about 90% of the available inventory  for the big game, with prices for a 30-second spot running close to $3 million. The game typically includes 50 to 60 spots.


“Obviously, we went through a tough upfront this year,” Jo Ann Ross, president of sales for CBS, told Reuters. “You always go into a marketplace when you have high-ticket items like the Grammys and the Super Bowl and an Olympic year a little bit with a pit in your stomach, but that pit is no longer in my stomach. There’s still a lot to be said for live events that garner general interest.”

CBS had a great year selling ads for the NFL season and is running ahead of last year’s pace on golf and the NCAA college basketball tournament in March — even closing a deal on Monday morning with an unidentified company for both sports worth more than $10 million, Ross said.

Among the top advertisers for this year’s game in Miami between the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints are Anheuser-Busch InBev NV’s Budweiser and Bud Light beers.

Not everything has been smooth for CBS. U.S. women’s groups urged the network not to air an ad by Focus on the Family, claiming it has a strident anti-abortion rights message. CBS has approved the ad.

Last week, CBS rejected an ad from Mancrunch.com as inappropriate, leading a spokesman for the gay male dating website to call the network anti-gay. CBS also questioned the company’s credit history.

CBS also rejected as inappropriate a proposed tagline for Electronic Arts’ new “Dante’s Inferno” video game, due out 2/9, shying away from “Go to hell” in favor of “Hell awaits.”


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Carl has been with RBR-TVBR since 1997 and is currently Managing Director/Senior Editor. Residing in Northern Virginia, he covers the business of broadcasting, advertising, programming, new media and engineering. He’s also done a great deal of interviews for the company and handles our ever-growing stable of bylined columnists.