Super Bowl Decoded: The Financial Impact of the Big Game

It's not just the commercials that bring in big money on Super Bowl Sunday

(Image: ThinkStock)


With rates of over $100,000 per second, companies spend a great amount of money and time—many up to a year in advance—planning concepts for the advertisements that will air on the “big day.” According to NBC spokesperson Christopher McCloskey, the average cost of a 30-second slot during the game this year is $3.5 million with some key spots being sold for as high as $4 million. The price is 17 percent higher than those sold to Fox last year.

When NBC broadcast the Super Bowl in 2009 the numbers were an average of $2.8 million each. Those prices didn’t include the pre-game, halftime and post-game spots, which are less expensive, since they’re not watched in as high density. While NBC reps could not disclose how much is made from advertising during the Super Bowl production, the network did sell 70 30-second slots.

The price of the spot depends on a number of variables, including whether or not the company does other business with NBC; how many spots they buy; the amount of time taken to purchase their spots (rates go up closer to the game), among other factors. According to McCloskey, though marketers usually put an emphasis on the “pod position” (the first commercial in or the last before the game comes back on), there is no added value on the timing of an advertisement. The viewership is usually about the same throughout the broadcast.

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