NBC Gets Record $206 Million For Super Bowl Spots

NBC said Saturday it has sold out its Super Bowl ad spots for a record $206 million. And according to GoDaddy.com spokesman Nick Fuller, the company bought one of the last remaining spots Friday.

The total for the whole day is over a quarter of a billion, $261 million. According to a rate sheet obtained by B&C, NBC was selling that $3 million spot on a 42.4 household rating, with the pregame prices varying from $44,500 per spot at noon-1 p.m. (2.5 rating), the first hour of a six-hour-plus pregame extravaganza, up to $1.6 million for the 15 minutes before kick-off (28.2 rating).

NBC Universal president and CEO Jeff Zucker said selling out the game in the currrent environment was "a testament to the dogged determination of Seth Winter [SVP, Sales & Marketing, NBC Sports]." NBC didn't cut prices for one of the few remaining must-see TV events left on TV schedules, even as the economic going got rough.

Zucker said it had been smart to sell the early inventory at the record price of $3 million. He did not say what the remaining spots had gone for.

NBC said a total of 32 advertisers took out ads, which often can be just as entertaining as the blocking and tackline. Those ads will be viewable online at NBC.com, Hulu.com, and Superbowl.com.

Among the ads will be Pepsi's 3D spot for SoBe Lifewater, which is getting a YouTube preview before the game.

There will also be two GoDaddy ads in the game: the provocatively titled "Shower" in the first quarter and "Baseball" in the fourth quarter. The company will air more risque versions of the ads in Internet-only versions during the game on GoDaddy.com.

GoDaddy, which appears to like its spots just racy enough to get added promotional mileage out of having them rejected, once had to go through 13 iterations of an ad before it found one that passed muster. It is probably best known for the spot lampooning the Janet Jackson Super Bowl flap and featuring a woman having a wardrobe malfunction as she testifies before an aging congressional panel in need of some CPR by the time she is done.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.