The Walt Disney Co. has sold out of advertising time for tonight’s “Monday Night Football” doubleheader on ESPN, said sources.
Among the biggest spending ad categories, sources said, are quick-serve restaurants, telecoms, financial services, and fantasy sports companies.
With the 2020 U.S. presidential election only months away, look for a possible campaign spot from Democratic candidate Joe Biden, said sources.
The Biden presidential campaign previously aired a 60-second commercial during NBC Sports’ season-opening telecast on Sept. 10.
“Disney Advertising Sales is experiencing strong demand from advertisers for the NFL,” said a Disney Ad Sales spokesperson, who declined to comment on total dollars or ad prices. “There are over 30 new advertisers in ‘Monday Night Football’ to date that weren’t in the program last season.”
The NFL’s 2019 regular season, playoffs, and Super Bowl generated about $4.3 billion in ad sales.
On the programming side, ESPN’s top college football duo of Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, and Maria Taylor will call the Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants at 7 p.m. ET.
The new “Monday Night Football” announce team of Steve Levy, Louis Riddick, Brian Griese, Lisa Salters, and John Parry will call the Tennessee Titans at Denver Broncos at 10:15 p.m. ET.
Stephanie Druley, ESPN’s executive vice president of event and studio production, previously said her network will definitely show any NFL players protesting for social justice during the early game telecast. It will also show the rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” known as the Black national anthem.
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If time permits, ESPN will follow the same approach during the Titans-Broncos late game, she said.
During current NFL TV negotiations, Disney has been pushing hard to bring ESPN’s sister broadcast network ABC back into the rotation.
The entertainment giant recently assembled characters from across the Disney universe for an NFL returns advertisement set to Celine Dion’s “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now.”
On Sept. 21, the former home of “Monday Night Football” will televise its first regular-season NFL game in 15 years as Disney simulcasts the Las Vegas Raiders home opener against the New Orleans Saints on both the ABC broadcast network and ESPN cable channel.
The date will mark the 50th anniversary of the first “Monday Night Football” game between the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns on Sept. 21, 1970.