Super Bowl Ads: Fox Scores a $4 Million Touchdown

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Television ads for the big day are officially sold out, and when we say big day, we obviously mean the Super Bowl XLVIII. The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that Fox Network, the host of next year’s game, said this week that it has sold all of its commercial time, demonstrating that ad buyers are still willing to pay the big bucks in order to get their 30-second face time. The 2014 game will be played on February 2, and according to ad buyers, the amount of money it takes to secure a 30-second spot during the game has risen about 5 percent from the 2013 game.

Last February, ads buyers paid around $3.8 million for commercial time, while this time around, marketers will be paying Fox, a unit of 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOX), up to $4 million per slot. It’s hard to imagine how the price of a 30-second slot can still be rising, especially when an increasing number of viewers are now turning to social media and other video streaming services for their entertainment, but the Journal highlights that the Super Bowl is one of the only events that can still attract a large audience watching live television, and last February’s game between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers attracted some 108.4 million viewers, the third largest audience for a television event on record.

That explains why the price of ad time for the matchup has risen consistently since the game’s inception, and it has increased 42 percent since 2004 when spots sold for about $2.3 million. Barring 2007 and 2010, prices have risen significantly in each succeeding year as advertisers continue to recognize the rare audience that the Super Bowl continues to score.

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