One of the primary aspects of the game, and the most lucrative to the network, continues to be selling commercials. However, it appears that NBC is having a tougher time than years past in selling out all of its ad space. One of the primary reasons? The usual advertisers aren’t biting on the big price tag this year.
According to a report by Brian Steinberg with Variety, car companies are retreating from advertising in the Super Bowl. As Steinberg notes, ads for cars have cluttered Super Bowl broadcasts in the past. Car Companies spent $92 million in 2013, just down from the $94.5 million in 2012.
The reason for the slowdown? Well, in case you haven’t notice, car companies have been issuing recalls like they’re popping tic-tacs in recent months. That means more money coming out of the company’s bottom line and less being available to spend on commercial spots that are estimated to cost $4.5 million for this year’s Super Bowl.
The result? NBC still has up to ten 30-second spots available for the Super Bowl. Of course, there’s no talk of a slowdown from the network. “We have gotten no indication that price has been an impediment to any advertising,” said NBC Sports Executive Vice President of Sales Seth Winter.
This begs the question as to whether the Super Bowl ad market has peaked. As margins grow slimmer by the year and costs continue to rise, companies may simply be coming to the realization that millions of dollars can be spent in better ways than on a 30-second commercial in front of the biggest viewing audience of the year.
And, if you’re waiting for that TDC Super Bowl spot, don’t hold your breath.