Fox Deportes Talks Turkey about Super Bowl Ads

Tom Maney and his sales team had a tasty appetizer to entice advertisers with over Thanksgiving:  a little Super Bowl inventory to go with their turkey legs and cranberry sauce.

Maney, Fox Hispanic Media's executive vice president of advertising sales, said Fox Deportes has sold out 80% of its inventory in what will be the first Spanish-language telecast of a Super Bowl in the U.S. “As they were pouring the gravy, many [clients] were saying ‘I’ll have some Super Bowl, please,’ ” Maney joked.

In a two-year deal that was announced on Nov. 27, Fox Deportes gained the rights to Fox’s Thanksgiving day matchup, as well as its NFC Wild Card coverage, a pair of Divisional contests, the NFC Championship and Super Bowl XLVIII from MetLife Stadium  in East Rutherford, N.J. Fox will also stream the NFL championship contest.

At press time, Maney reported that Fox Deportes, which counts some 21 million subscribers and 6.6 million Hispanic households, had 19 Super Bowl advertisers on its roster, including Anheuser-Busch, Ford, General Motors, AT&T, Toyota, Viagra, Mars, All-State and

“We’re ahead of forecast and very pleased,” Maney said, noting the network didn’t have the benefit of moving any units during the upfront and 95% of its calendar business was closed before the Super Bowl selling began. Moreover, only one NFL official sponsor -- A-B -- is in the game, as many sponsors had already made commitments to the upcoming Winter Olympics and World Cup,

“It’s the power of the NFL, its first-class reputation in the marketplace,” he said.

Maney explained that Fox Deportes put its package together based in part from analyses of three years of ratings data from ESPN Deportes’ presentation of Monday Night Football. “We’ve blown that away at 50% above our estimates,” he said.

Fox Deportes' four games to date, from the Thanksgiving day battle between Detroit and Green Bay through the San Francisco-Carolina NFC Divisional matchup, averaged 79,000 total viewers and 50,000 adults 18 to 49. The 49ers’ win over the Panthers set the Nielsen pace, scoring with 114,000 viewers and 71,000 in the aforementioned demo.

Will Fox Deportes sell out the Big Game? “We’ll certainly come pretty close,” said Maney, pointing out that the network plans to use some of the time -- there are minimum of 70 30-second units available -- for promotional purposed to enhance brand awareness.

Asked about pricing, Maney laughed before saying the rate was “a few decimal points to the left” of the $4 million per :30 Fox has averaged for its inventory. “There has been premium pricing. The Super Bowl has generated the highest CPM level for any property on Fox Deportes,” he said.

While Fox Deportes will have its own set of announcers  -- John Laguna, Francisco Rivera and Brady Poppinga, a member of Green Bay’s Super Bowl XLV winning team who learned to speak Spanish while on a mission in Uruguay -- and interstitials that are culturally relevant to Hispanic viewers, Maney said the format will be 99% the same as Fox’s telecast. Maney maintains the Super Bowl will attract bilingual NFL fans, as well as Spanish-language viewers who may not have tuned in pro football in the past.

Fox Deportes hasn’t sold any inventory for its NFL slate next season, comprising Fox’s national preseason games, as well as the aforementioned postseason contests, save for the Super Bowl. Maney said that process would begin during the upfront next May and June. NFL official sponsors aside, he said those that have participated this time around will get those first round of calls.

It will be interesting to see how the Big Game performs for Fox Deportes and if NBCUniversal, whose NBC holds the rights to Super Bowl XLIX from the University of Phoenix in Glendale, Ariz., will look to get mun2 on the field for next year’s title tilt.