CBS Gets Record Prices for Super Bowl Ads

Phil Sims and Jim Nantz - H 2013

Phil Sims and Jim Nantz - H 2013

With an average price of almost $3.8 million, CBS chief Leslie Moonves calls the big game "the greatest broadcast day of the year for this entire corporation."

Whichever team comes out on top during Super Bowl XLVII, CBS is already a winner. CEO Leslie Moonves confirmed Tuesday that all of the available advertising slots in the game have been sold at a record average price of about $3.8 million, with some going for more than $4 million.

That's up from an average of about $3.5 million that 30 second ads sold for when NBC handled the telecast in 2012.

Moonves, during a press briefing on the game plan for the broadcast in New York City, also said that the CBS flagship station in New York City has also sold some ads during the telecast for more than  $1 million, and predicted the Super Bowl would be “the greatest broadcast day of the year... for this entire corporation."

"This entire corporation is getting behind this event in a way I don't think has ever been done before," said Moonves.

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CBS has sold out the spots in about the same amount of time it took NBC but not as fast as Fox did when it telecast the game in 2011. Moonves said that had nothing to do with the amount of interest from advertisers or the state of the American economy. Instead, he said CBS held out for the highest prices it could get, which required more time.

CBS president of network sales JoAnn Ross and exec vp of sports sales and marketing John Bogusz had told The Hollywood Reporter in November that they had only a couple of ad units left at that time. Ross said that the CBS gross revenue for the game would be more than $225 million.

Besides the spots in the game itself, CBS also sells back up and contingency time slots in case the game goes into overtime., which will stream the game live, will also stream the halftime show for the first time. Jason Kint, general manager of CBS Interactive's Sports Division, said the digital unit is close to selling out its advertising inventory as well.

Moonves told reporters he was thrilled when the NFL suggested that Beyoncé perform at halftime. "She's been great for awhile, but it feels like the timing couldn't be better," said Moonves. "With her, and the baby, and Jay-Z, and what they represent -- plus she's at the height of her musical career, so we're really excited."

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CBS also has an extensive line up of programming leading up to the big game, which will feature announcers Jim Nantz and Phil Simms. There will be seven hours of pre-game coverage before the official kick off at 3:30  pm pst. And for the entire week, CBS News will base all of its broadcasts in New Orleans, site of the game. The CBS Evening News will originate from there on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Several network shows will also air from there, including The Talk, hosted by Julie Chen, which will do a week of live shows from the Big Easy. The Talk will target women viewers of the big game -- and last year CBS estimated about 43 million women watched the big game last year.

Last year's Super Bowl set a record as the most watched TV show in American history, the third year in a row it set a record for viewership. Nielsen said an estimated 111.3 million people watched the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots 21-17.

That close game helped; in his comments Tuesday, Moonves said he's hoping for another close game, unlike the thumping Alabama gave Notre Dame Monday night in the BCS Championship. That had high viewership to start but it went downhill after the Crimson Tide rolled to a four touchdown lead in the first half.

Moonves also joked that while the inventory is gone, if an advertiser wants to offer CBS $5 million or more for an ad, they might be accommodated. While that may be true, the NFL limits the number of ads in the game so it would require some serious juggling.