Forget about make-goods

NBC sells even more ads since start of Games

NBC has sold $10 million more in advertising since the start of the Beijing Games thanks to strong ratings fueled by swimmer Michael Phelps. That's atop the already record-breaking $1 billion in revenue that NBC Universal secured before the Games.

NBC had inventory to sell because networks traditionally keep some commercial time in case ratings disappoint and make-goods are required. Some of that inventory now is being sold, though it wasn't clear in what dayparts or at what price.

The top rate had been $750,000 for a 30-second spot in primetime, though the average commercial — either on NBC, one of its cable networks or online — is less than that. NBC said the new ad spending, from more than 100 advertisers, came from movie companies, packaged goods and retail.

By any measure, NBC's Olympics coverage has been a success. The network has bucked the downward trend in broadcast TV ratings, with an average primetime audience of 30.8 million through Wednesday, Nielsen said. Ratings for men 18-34 are up 28%, while the men 18-49 demo is ahead 22%, compared with the 2004 Athens Games.

"The Olympics have captivated the American public and further ignited our sales efforts," said Seth Winter, senior vp sales and marketing at NBC Sports & Olympics. (partialdiff)