NBC Says Olympic Ad Sales Top $1B

NBC says that national ad sales for the RioOlympics have topped $1 billion and are ahead of the record pace set by the 2012 London Games.

Four years ago, NBC announced topping the $1 billion mark on July 25, two days before the opening ceremony.

"The market is very healthy and bullish on the Olympics as evidenced by the fact that we've surpassed the $1 billion mark four months ahead of London," said Seth Winter, executive VP, advertising sales, NBC Sports Group. "Advertisers know that integrating their brands in front of Olympic viewers is good for their businesses. We continue to expect to set the Olympic record for national ad sales."

Related: Discovery Signs Olympic Deal for U.K. With BBC

The NBC Olympic total includes broadcast, cable and digital sales.

"Digital sales, which are reserved for our largest linear customers, are healthy as well. Our premium advertisers recognize that they receive more value by extending their messaging across multiple platforms," Winter said.

Sports and live events have remained popular with advertisers at a time when consumers are watching more entertainment programming on a delayed basis. Big ticket events like the Super Bowl and March Madness have been drawing record revenues.

"The value of live, big-event programming is more important than ever to advertisers because of its ability to reach large audiences," Winter said. "The Olympics' ability to dominate primetime for 17 consecutive nights is unmatched. If brands want to reach viewers and their customers in the third quarter, they have to be in the Olympics."

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.