More than $1 billion worth of television ads could be disrupted this season as a result of college football postponements. ESPN and ABC alone have $850 million in ad sales wrapped around college football broadcasts. In 2019, there was more than $1.7 billion in total college football advertising inventory.
More upheaval likely won’t be welcomed by marketers who have been challenged by the sports shutdown. Eight of the top 10 TV programs for ad engagement in the past year were sports events. Ad revenue dropped 26.7% year-over-year in April, largely because of the lack of sports, including the NCAA Final Four.
With live sports returning, advertisers are also coming back and seeing boosted engagement levels, said Kevin Krim, CEO of EDO, an ad measurement company. Search engagement from TV ads jumped 72% for the NBA’s return compared to games at the start of the season. For baseball, the delayed Opening Day games outperformed 2019 Opening Day by 29%.