With the Summer Olympics set to get under way Aug. 5, NBC says it has hit its ad sales target and is expecting what NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke called “the most profitable Olympics in history.”
The Los Angeles Times cites Seth Winter, executive vice president for ad sales for the NBC Sports Group, saying total ad revenue for the event is closing in on $1.2 billion, and orders are still being taken.
Said Burke: “We have never hit our budget in sales three weeks before the Olympics begin.”
While Burke stopped short of forecasting earnings, he said: “We’re way ahead of where we were in London, and London was profitable.”
The runup to the Olympics has been marked by a series of concerns, most notably the Zika virus, with the various health, security and financial issues grabbing headlines and appearing to suppress the usual pre-Olympics “buzz.” But the TV picture remains rosy, according to Burke.
The Times notes: “NBC expects its prime-time rating for the Olympics to be higher than 2012 as all of the events will be live as opposed to tape delayed. But it’s the overall fragmentation of the television landscape due to the vast number of choices viewers have today that is making the Olympics more attractive to advertisers, Burke said.”