SMI: NFL TV Ad Revenue Up 3% to $3.5B

Despite concerns over falling ratings, ad revenue from NFL game broadcasts rose 3% to top $3.5 billion last season, according to new figures from research firm Standard Media Index.

Fox, which televised the Super Bowl, had the most NFL revenue with $1.4 billion.

Those regulation-time Super Bowl ads sold for an average of $4.596 million per 30 seconds, up only slightly from $4.571 million for Super Bowl 50 on CBS, SMI said. The ads that ran in overtime were a bargain at an average of $1.461 million.

Fox generated $130.6 million in ad revenue during the NFC Championship Game, up 15%, with spot prices rising 11% to $1.587 million.

The AFC Championship game registered $113.3 million on CBS, up 4%. Spots were $1.536 million, up 5%.

During the semifinal, spots averaged $970,000, up 13%. And spots in the wild card games were up 11% to $713,059.

SMI noted that the networks tended to make up for the season-long ratings shortfalls by putting make-good ads in games during the final week of the season. Across all networks, 33% of the spots were ADUs (audience deficiency units), although that was down from 36% as the 2015 season wound down.

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.