It's an Olympic triumph for advertisers

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With the possibility of make-goods now off the table, NBC Sports & Olympics continues to write more business in the final week of the Beijing Games.

NBC has brought in $15 million more in ad business in the past several days, adding to the $10 million it did in the first triumphant days of the Summer Olympics. NBC has taken in a record $1 billion-plus in revenue for the network and cable ad sales.

"We've written a lot more business than we thought we would" during the Games, NBC Olympics ad sales president Seth Winter said Tuesday from Beijing.

The recently sold inventory comes from the fact that NBC reserves for possible ratings shortfalls are no longer needed. NBC had guaranteed advertisers about a 14 household rating for the Games, and it will easily deliver that thanks to the strong first week with Michael Phelps' record-setting performance. For the first 11 days, NBC is up 12% in viewership and 4% in adults 18-49 compared with the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

Meanwhile, advertisers are happy with their return on investment for spots during the 2008 Games, Winter and NBC Uni research chief Alan Wurtzel said. Data from Nielsen IAG Research shows that ads that run during the Olympics have a 130% increase in brand recall than other primetime and 33% higher than spots that run during the Academy Awards. (partialdiff)
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