Super Bowl Ad Revenue Fell 6.4% to $400.7 Million

Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrate after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium on Feb. 7, 2021 in Tampa, Florida.
ViacomCBS scored $400 million in ad revenue during the Super Bowl (Image credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The Super Bowl generated $400.7 million in ad revenue for ViacomCBS, down 6.4% from the previous year, according to new figures from Standard Media Index.

The report comes as the NFL is expected to expand its regular season to 17 games from 16 games, increasing the opportunities for broadcasters to sell commercials.

Super Bowl Ad Revenue Standard Media Index

(Image credit: Standard Media Index)

During the pandemic challenged 2020 season, ad revenues rose 3% to $2.8 billion, a smaller gain than previously reported. The other NFL playoff games generated $614 million in ad revenue, up 2%.

At a time when traditional TV ratings are eroding, the NFL remains a powerhouse. Last week the NFL signed new long-term agreement with television networks and Amazon worth more than $100 billion.

Standard Media Index said that ViacomCBS sold 85 commercial units during the Super Bowl, down from 86 sold by Fox the prior year.

Super Bowl Standard Media Index

(Image credit: Standard Media Index)

ViacomCBS got an average of $4.733 million per 30-second commercial,down 5% from from $4.988 million.

ViacomCBS had no comment on the report. When ViacomCBS announced that it had sold-out its Super Bowl inventory, industry sources indicated that 30-second spots had been selling for about $5.5 million, with streaming adding a couple hundred thousand more to the tab.

Because of the pandemic, there were fewer spots from, consumer packaged goods brands, automakers and tech companies. Ads for entertainment and media brands were up 12%,

Viewership for the Super Bowl was down 9% to 96.4 million, according to Nielsen.

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.