The Walt Disney Co. has sold out ad sales for ESPN and ABC’s first-round coverage of the 2023 NFL Draft on Thursday night.
A handful of spots remain for coverage of Rounds 2-3 on Friday night and Rounds 4-7 on Saturday, but Disney could completely sell out by Monday, according to Jim Minnich, senior vice president of revenue and yield management for Disney Advertising.
Disney has signed 14 official sponsors and nearly 100 advertisers across 50 product categories. There will be 15 more categories than last year.
The Mouse declined to comment on total ad spending, but sources said Disney is expected to book more than $16 million in ad dollars across ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2.
Minnich pointed to several reasons Disney is reaping strong ad sales around the NFL Draft.
- It’s the NFL’s most valuable content and its premier offseason event.
- For the fifth year in a row, Disney will offer draft coverage on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN Deportes channels.
- The addition of ABC’s more college football-focused coverage with Kirk Herbstreit has attracted new sponsors.
“You’ve got Courtyard by Marriott presenting ESPN’s [coverage]. They’ve been with us for years. But then we have Home Depot, which is also the presenting sponsor for ‘College GameDay.’ They present the ABC window,” Minnich said.
The NFL Draft is a live event, which resonates with viewers, Minnich said. He also noted the traveling roadshow nature of the draft, which brings excitement and new visitors to different cities yearly.