Upfront climate getting hot: NBC is asking for a whopping $1M per ad in its new Thanksgiving-night NFL broadcast. NBC will attempt to get “pretty close to seven figures” for a 30-second spot in the game, which will feature the New England Patriots vs. the New York Jets, Seth Winter, EVP/Sales and Marketing for NBC Sports Group told Ad Age.
Last fall, a 30-second ad in NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” — the most expensive program for advertisers at the start of the 2011-12 TV season — cost an average of $512,367, according to Ad Age.
The Thanksgiving-night game was previously available only on cable—via the NFL Network. It was added to NBC’s schedule this year as part of recent contract talks with the NFL, so its ad inventory is not included in ad packages that NBC may have negotiated previously. “It’s a different animal,” Winter told Ad Age. “We are looking at it as a unique entity within the broader NFL package.”
The thought is that families will be sitting at home after dinner, looking for good programming the family—and guests—can devour. The game also leads into the biggest season for retail and holiday purchases, starting with Black Friday the following morning and Cyber Monday after the weekend, so the timing is very desirable for advertisers. The holiday game will also mean a good portion of the viewership will tune in to watch the game live and can’t skip the ads with a DVR.
RBR-TVBR observation: With it previously only available on cable via the NFL Network, the game would always be ratings-impaired. NBC will hype the heck out of this game and present a variety of sponsorship opportunities along with the :30 ads. There just may be a few advertisers that are willing to gamble that kind of money will pay off with a “captive” audience. If ratings guarantees are in place, it will be that much easier to pull the trigger. Let’s face it—with Comcast/NBCU presenting the Olympics this summer, the upfront negotiations—only days away—will paint their networks as the one-stop-shop for sports programming. And this Thanksgiving’s game’s inventory was not part of last year’s upfront.