Super Bowl Streaming Ad Sales Face Challenges (Report)

Aaron Hernandez - New England Patriots - 2010
Elsa/Getty Images

There are still plenty of digital packages for $300,000-$600,000 each available as marketers see the big game as must-see TV.

NEW YORK - For the first time ever, NBC will live stream the Super Bowl on Feb. 5, and some big brands, including General Motors, have bought digital advertising packages, PaidContent reported. But sales haven't been brisk.

It said digital ad packages generally go for $300,000-$600,000. “That’s a lot to ask for,” it quoted Neal Pilson, a former CBS Sports president who is now a sports broadcast consultant, as saying. “We’re still shaking out the monetization of this, but I don’t see it diluting the broadcast in any way."

Citing unnamed media buyers, PaidContent said that while the TV broadcast of the Super Bowl is sold out of ads, there are still "plenty" of ads available for the live stream as marketers don't seem convinced that it will draw a big crowd given that the Super Bowl is typically the year’s highest-rated TV event. NBC wouldn’t comment on the status of its digital sales, it said.

“The question that remains to us is: what’s the actual value of the Super Bowl in comparison to other things that are streamed?” PaidContent cited an unnamed sports media buyer as saying. “Streaming is probably something less significant for the Super Bowl than it might be for other sports or other properties.”

Some buyers told PaidContent that they don't expect NBC will draw much more than the 200,000 to 300,000 unique viewers who typically watch its regular season contests online. Viewers are more likely to miss regular season games on TV, they argue.

One media buyer called the Super Bowl “destination viewing in its highest form.”


Twitter: @georgszalai