CBS Sets a High Price for ‘Thursday Night Football’ Spots

Aug 18, 2014  •  Post A Comment

CBS has high hopes for its upcoming “Thursday Night Football” programming, and the price the network is seeking for for ad spots — more than a half-million dollars for 30 seconds — reflects its high expectations, Variety reports.

The pricing, the story reports, is “the latest signal that TV networks believe live football gives them a greater advantage in reaching the large crowds of consumers their sponsors expect.” The games will be simulcast on cable on the NFL Network, the report notes.

The report adds: “At $500,000 or more, a spot in the show, which is being broadcast on CBS via a partnership established in February with the National Football League, would cost advertisers more than any other program on prime-time TV except for NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” according to a Variety survey of prime-time ad prices. NBC was able to command an average of $628,000 for a 30-second spot in last season’s series of games, according to the survey.”

The second highest-priced show on prime time last season, according to the survey, was ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” coming in at an average of $408,000.

“Even football, however, is facing greater scrutiny from potential sponsors. Advertisers tamped down the amount of money they have been willing to place on advance ad inventory in this year’s annual ‘upfront,’ so even these highly viewed pieces of content are not sold out,” the article notes.

John Bogusz, CBS’s executive VP of sports sales and marketing, said the network still has space available in its Thursday night and Sunday afternoon football broadcasts. But he added, commenting on how much advertising has been sold: “We are happy with where we are.”

Variety adds: “CBS is guaranteeing a 12.3 household rating for the games, which is not far behind performance of NBC’s Sunday night matches from last season. That rating would be a cume of the broadcasts on both CBS and NFL Network — and an underlying factor in why the CBS games cost less than NBC’s, according to ad buyers.”

CBS has an eight-game package set for Thursday nights, running Sept. 11-Oct. 30.

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