The Super Bowl’s commercials have become nearly as big a draw as the game itself. According to Prosper Insights and Analytics, 17.7% of adults say that advertisements are the most important part of the event. The TV broadcast presents a golden opportunity for marketers to reach more than a hundred million Americans (114 million tuned in last year), and such an opportunity does not come cheap.
According to Variety, Fox is charging marketers anywhere between $5 million and $5.5 million for a 30-second ad this year. This cost does not depend on the two teams that actually take the field on Feb. 5 at NRG Stadium in Houston—Fox sold 90% of its commercial slots by December, before the Patriots or Falcons had reached the Super Bowl.
For comparison, the average price of a 30-second ad during Game 7 of this year’s historic World Series was just over $500,000. The price for a similar spot during the 2016 Oscars cost about $2 million.
During last year’s matchup between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers, which was broadcast on CBS, a 30-second spot went for up to $5 million, while NBC received an average of $4.5 million for a 30-second commercial in 2015. For the 2007 Super Bowl, the cost was $2.6 million, meaning commercial prices have essentially doubled over the last decade. A 30-second commercial for the first Super Bowl, played in 1967, cost a mere $42,000.
Last year, excluding "free" ads run by CBS and the NFL, 62 total advertisements ran during the telecast. Forty-five of those were 30-second spots and 17 ran for a full minute. If there’s a similar number of 30-seconders this year, Fox could bring in up to $247.5 million just from 30-second ads. Not a bad day at the office.