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Fox: World Series Is 90% Sold

On top of huge numbers for football, Fox Sports says it is cashing in on baseball, with commercials in the upcoming World Series about 90% sold. Sales are pacing much quicker than a year ago, when the recession pushed the upfront sales market back toward the end of summer. Sales are pacing about 25% ahead of 2008.

Prices on a cost-per-thousand viewers (CPM) basis are up by high single digits, Fox says. That brings the price of a 30-second spot to about $450,000, according to industry sources. Fox is also getting about $225,000 for spots in the National League Championship Series.

Demand is also strong at Turner Broadcasting, which says it’s also about 90% sold for the American League Championship Series and divisional playoff coverage. Spots in the ALCS are going for about $140,000. Key sponsors include AT&T, Bank of America, Jeep and Capital One.

As the season winds to a close, it’s likely that ratings will be strongest if big-market teams such as the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies reach the Fall Classic. Ratings for last fall’s Yanks-Phils series were up 39% from 2008. In addition to market size, key factors in ratings and revenue include the length of the series and the closeness of individual games.