Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, February 02, 2021

Much thanks to the AP for doing up this graphic on Super Bowl TV spot prices and viewer numbers from Super Bowl I (1967) to present.

It’s interesting to see how much the airtime’s value has escalated — hitting this year’s high of $2.4 million per 30 seconds — while viewership has pretty much stayed the same. Even factoring in inflation, this doesn’t make sense at first glance.

But consider the context: The television universe has splintered into a million segment over the past twenty years. Once upon a time, the big three networks drew 90 percent of the viewing audience, because there was practically no alternative to them. Accordingly, the value of advertising to that audience was relatively small.

Now, with hundreds of channels to choose from (not to mention other media), it’s harder than ever to attract a massive number of viewers to any one broadcast on any one channel. The Super Bowl is one of those rare events that can deliver a truly mass audience; that’s why it commands the big bucks.

Because it’s so much harder to pull that audience in, the value of getting in front of those eyeballs has exploded exponentially, even if the raw number of viewers hasn’t increased at the same pace. In essence, an audience of some 90 million in 2005 is worth a lot more than an audience of 90 million in, say, 1980.

In a nutshell, that’s why companies spend so much to get in on the Super Bowl ad shuffle. Along with events like the Oscars and Grammys, it’s one of the few sure-fire ways to get exposure in front of a captivated, receptive audience.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 02/02/2021 11:28:46 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Football, TV
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    This year’s edition of the Super Bowl might be XL, but there’s nothing “extra large” about the game’s ad sales so far. Direct competition from February’s Winter Olympics, and indirect competition from wireless and …

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