NBC Says NFL Kickoff Game Spots Are Sold Out

Patrick Mahomes (15) of the Kansas City Chiefs during a regular season game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO Sept. 22, 2019.
(Image credit: Scott Clarke / ESPN Images)

After an agonizing spring with no live sports, the moment advertisers have been waiting for is finally here, and TV networks are saying sponsors are putting their money down as the National Football League starts its season.

NBC Sports said that Thursday night’s NFL kickoff game is sold out. It said revenue for the game is up by double digits with the average cost of a 30-second commercial close to $900,000.

Related: CBS Calls NFL Ad Sales 'Brisk' as Kick Off Nears

Disney Advertising Sales said it was experiencing strong demand from advertisers for Monday Night Football on ESPN.

Disney said there are more than 30 new advertisers signed up for Monday Night Football that weren’t in the program last season. It noted that this season for the first time, a regular season game is being simulcast on both ESPN and ABC.

Companies in the telecom, quick-serve restaurant, financial services, fantasy sports and political sectors are among the advertisers spending more this season.

Sources indicated that while sales got off to a slow start--in line with the delayed upfront--the networks are seeing a surge in the scatter marketplace, with inventory tightening up earlier than in past years.

Earlier this week, ViacomCBS said that NFL sales have been brisk and that sellout rates at this point were similar to last season.

The NFL season starts with Thursday night’s game between the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans from Arrowhead Stadium at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC. NBC will be preceding the game with NFL Kickoff 7 p.m. ET.

Heading into its 15th season, NBC’s Sunday Night Football has been primetime TV’s No. 1 show for nine consecutive seasons. NBC’s Football Night in America has been the most-watched weekly studio show in sports each season since its 2006 debut.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.