NFL Advertisers Uncertain About Buying 2020 Commercial Time

The average rate for a 30-second in-game spot last season was $424,000

Tarvarius Moore of 49ers celebrates after intercepting a pass by Patrick Mahomes.
Tarvarius Moore of 49ers celebrates after intercepting a pass by Patrick Mahomes.
Getty Images
By Evan Bleier / June 1, 2020 11:17 am

With so much uncertainty about the upcoming NFL season thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, advertisers are unsure about purchasing ads even though the summer is typically when commercial time is booked for the fall.

Last season, the average rate for a 30-second in-game spot was $424,000, according to Sports Business Journal. While there is a chance that price will dip this season, it seems far more likely that, unless there is concrete information the league will not begin on time, it will rise.

“We are counseling our ad partners that they’re going to want to come to us earlier rather than try to grab whatever may be left in September,” an ad sales boss told SBJ. “I don’t want to mince words here — if you don’t buy our games now, you’re going to face a big premium in scatter.”

One other reason advertisers may want to consider buying now instead of waiting is, with the production of many scripted TV shows on hold since early March, there may not be many new episodes of returning series to watch this fall. If the NFL does play as planned, it will be one of the only sources of fresh content.

Ads that are bought now include a cancellation option that allows the advertiser to pull the plug on up to 50 percent of their advance commitments at the outset of a new financial quarter.

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