Super Bowl Ads ‘Essentially’ Sold Out, Burke Says

NBC has “essentially sold out” its commercials for the Super Bowl, according to NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke.

Related: NBC Says Super Bowl Ads 'Nearly' Sold Out

Speaking on Comcast’s earnings call Tuesday, Burke said that the advertising market was healthy and that he expected a strong upfront market in the spring.

Burke said that NBC was getting an average of about $5 million per 30-second unit for its Super Bowl spots. He estimated that was up 15% to 20% from last year.

“If you’re looking for an immediate sign as to how hot the [advertising] market is, as far as the Super Bowl goes, it’s pretty hot,” Burke said.

One analyst asked if there were signs that funds freed up by the new corporate tax law were being funneled into advertising budgets.

“I don’t think there’s necessarily a direct correlation from the tax cuts and having more cash and throwing that into advertising. I think it might be more related to overall business sentiment,” he said. “But to the degree that business sentiment is slightly stronger now than it was six months ago, you can kind of feel that coming into the advertising market.”

Burke said that augered well for the future.

“As we look forward into the upfront, which is only a few months away, by all accounts it’s going to be a strong upfront,” he said.

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.