We all know that the Super Bowl — hell, the entire NFL season — is nothing but an excuse for companies to spend millions on would-be edgy ads that will shoehorn their way into your consciousness next February ... and then vanish almost as quickly. (Go ahead, name three Super Bowl ads from last year.)
The Super Bowl ads, and presumably the Super Bowl as well, will be on NBC next year, and hoo boy, is the Peacock Network looking to cash in. Variety reports that NBC is asking $4.5 million for 30-second spots, obviously a record and a 12.5 percent increase over Fox's rate just this past year.
Now, it's worth noting that rates, like deals on cars and plane tickets, fluctuate wildly and are heavily dependent on inventory and time of year. Variety reports NBC is selling 40 30-second spots, of which 20 to 25 are already sold to long-term, multi-year buyers.
“It’s $9 million to get a Super Bowl spot, which is a lot,” one executive who purchases ads told Variety. “They are testing the market. If enough people don’t do it, it’s only June and it’s not broadcast until February. You could adjust your price in October if you need to. It’s all about testing the market and maximizing the revenue.”
Why on earth would anyone pay this much money for a single commercial? Because the Super Bowl is the most-watched television program of the year; Super Bowl XLVIII was the most-watched show in human history with 111.5 viewers. (Sorry, Peyton.) Sports are the one programming feature that resist DVR'ing and viewing on multiple alternative devices. (Of course, the outrageous fees are why you'll see advertisers rolling out their ads days or weeks before game time.)
So now, when you see an endless barrage of cute animals, heart-tugging military reunions, and dudes getting injured in wacky ways, you'll at least have the comfort of knowing that somebody paid a fortune to put that in front of you.