NBC on Track for $1B in Olympic Ad Sales

NBCUniversal says that a recent surge in business has pushed Olympic ad sales beyond the pace of the London games that generated $1 billion.

Seth Winter, executive VP at NBCU, said Olympic sales had behind the London pace, but some new deals, some worth between $25 million and $50 million, had just been completed.

“Sales are going extraordinarily well,” he said, noting that he still had deals in the pipeline. “I expect this to be a record games for NBC. No doubt about that.”

Winter also said that he expects digital ad sales to be up as much as 50% from London. National cable and digital sales are included in the $1 billion figure. Local station and local cable sales are not included.

The games will be held in Brazil, which is one hour ahead of the East Coast of the U.S., which means the bulk of events will be broadcast live, adding to the appeal of this Olympics.

“Live programming has taken off and people recognize the value of that,” Winter said.

NBC recently drew a 22 overnight rating with an NFL wild card playoff game. That will be the norm in primetime for 17 nights of live Olympics coverage, Winter said.

In order to buy digital ads, NBCU is requiring advertisers buy a minimum amount of linear TV advertising. Winter says digital is an important part of the package for advertisers in order to make sure they engage viewers and maximum brand recall and advertising effectiveness.

Winter said that NBC has been able to accommodate a larger demand for Olympic advertising by more narrowly defining advertiser product categories. He added that because of the demand, NBC is doing fewer category exclusive deals.

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.