Fox sells out 90% of postseason MLB ads

Network shows 8% to 9% increase in rates from last year

Fox has sold out 90% of its postseason baseball advertising inventory, with National League Championship Series 30-second commercial spots selling at $225,000 and World Series spots selling for $450,000 each. That's about an 8% to 9% increase in cost-per-thousand rates compared with last year.

Sources at Fox said the network has sold twice the number of ads at this point than it sold last year for the postseason, but that's mainly a result of last year's lingering primetime upfront selling period, which delayed the peak selling time for the postseason. Fox, though, also is 25% ahead of its 2008 postseason sales, which followed a typical primetime upfront sales period.

Just about all of Major League Baseball's official sponsors are in the postseason telecasts, with Chevrolet and Anheuser-Busch having purchased the largest number of commercial units. Chevrolet is returning as the World Series postgame-show sponsor.

Strong spending categories include automotive, telecommunications, fast food and financial, the latter showing the largest increase compared with last year.

Advertisers seem to be eager to get into this year's World Series based on the success Fox had with its telecasts last year. The 2009 World Series on Fox averaged an 11.7 household rating and 19 audience share, and that was up 39% over the 2008 Series. However, the 2009 Fall Classic featured the New York Yankees vs. Philadelphia Phillies, while the 2008 Series opponents for the Phillies were the Tampa Bay Rays.

The 2009 Series on Fox was the most watched since 2004, when the Boston Red Sox played the St. Louis Cardinals and the four games averaged a 15.8/26. Last year's Series also hit five-year highs in every major demo group, including adults 18-49, averaging a 6.2 rating.

The NLCS and World Series games will be televised on Fox Deportes again this year. Its ad volume for postseason telecasts is up 25% from last year, according to sources, with auto, consumer electronics, wireless, financial, fast food and home improvement the strongest categories.

Much like English-language Fox, Fox Deportes has strong support from the MLB corporate sponsors.