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TNS Super Bowl Ad Data Shows Networks Biggest Advertisers

NBC used around $42 million of
Super Bowl airtime to promote its mid-season and fall schedule last year,
according to a new report out on Super Bowl advertising trends. Most of those
promotional spots were for the new Jay
Leno Show
at 10 p.m. and to introduce Conan O'Brien as the new host of the Tonight Show.

Much of that value would now
appear to have been a waste given that NBC has said it is now moving Jay Leno
back into his original 11:35 p.m. time slot, and also negotiating to push Conan
back to 12:05 a.m.

The data comes from TNS Media
Intelligence which released new ad spending figures on Super Bowl advertising,
Monday, Jan. 11. "In a typical Super Bowl, 15-20 percent of all commercial time
is a plug by the network for its own programming," read the report, along with
its estimate that the airtime NBC put aside for promotions was worth $42
million.  Of course, during any Super
Bowl, networks may have unsold airtime that they use for their own needs.

In fact, NBC was relatively light
on network promotions compared to previous years. Jon Swallen, TNS senior VP of
research told B&C that NBC used
seven minutes and five seconds for its own promotions, pointing to relatively
high demand for spots which cost $3 million in 2009.  In 2008, Fox network aired more promotions, at
seven minutes and 55 seconds while in 2007, CBS ran as many as nine minutes and
35 seconds of network promotions.

Separately, TNS valued the
Super Bowl ad economy of the past 20 years at $2.7 billion; the figure spent by
advertisers on the big game the past 20 years. The top advertisers over that
period were: Anheuser-Busch, Pepsi Cola-Co., followed by General Motors, Walt
Disney and Time Warner.

In a sign of the times, General
Motors will be absent for the second year running, while Pepsi has scaled back,
opting against promoting its drinks brands in favor of spots from its Frito-Lay
division. It is the first time in 23 years that a Pepsi soft drink won't appear
during the game. First time advertisers are replacing the big guns however,
with Cash4Gold, Castrol, Denny's, Teleflora and Vizio appearing last year and
Electronic Arts and HomeAway, a vacation rentals firm, slated to air this time

Over the past 20 years the cost
of a spot has more than quadrupled to a high
point of $3 million in 2009 when NBC aired the event.
This year, CBS is reportedly asking between $2.5 million and $2.8 million.
Clutter has also expanded. According to TNS data last year's Super Bowl
contained 45 minutes and five seconds of network ads.