Ad Buyers Wary of Super Bowl, Game Still Likely to Be Big for CBS

Super Bowl LIV
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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CBS is reportedly still working on filling out the more than 42 minutes of ad time during Super Bowl LV as advertisers are navigating balancing both the cost and the messaging. Super Bowl LIV slots were sold out by November 2019. 

Sticker Shock

Some of the industries that normally spend big on the Super Bowl — like travel and movies — were hit hardest by the pandemic. Meanwhile, the price tag for an ad slot has almost doubled since 2008, when they were worth $2.7 million.

National TV advertising is forecast to drop 7.9% to $39.5 billion this year amid increased cord-cutting and declining viewership.

More Competition for Dollars: TV is fading as digital ad spending is set to account for more than half of the $214.6 billion U.S. advertising industry for the first time in 2020. 

A successful Super Bowl LV would be a much-needed boon for CBS:

  • ViacomCBS ad revenue was down 27% and 6%, respectively, in the second and third quarters.
  • CBS reportedly has been charging $5.5 million per 30-second advertisement during Super Bowl LV and $200,000 for streaming ads.
  • Fox generated approximately $600 million in ad revenue before, during and after Super Bowl LIV. The network charged up to $5.6 million per 30-second spot, which set a Super Bowl record.

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