Fox sells out of $5.6M Super Bowl LIV commercial spots in rare pre-Thanksgiving feat

Cassandra Negley

Fox sold its final Super Bowl LIV commercial spot on Friday, marking the earliest the game has sold out in many years and notably doing so before Thanksgiving.

Fox Sports executive vice president of sports sales Seth Winter told John Ourand at Sports Business Daily he has “never seen anything like this.” And he dubbed it a “surprise to all of us” for Adweek.

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Fox sold its final 17 of 77 total spots last week, Ourand reported, at rates that varied from $5.2 million to $5.6 million for 30-second commercials, depending on how many were purchased by an advertiser. According to Adweek, it’s the earliest sellout since 2011, when Fox finished selling Super Bowl XLV in late October 2010. With the exception of Fox selling out of 2014 Super Bowl space on Dec. 4, 2013, networks haven’t announced the sellout until hours or days prior to kickoff, per Adweek.

Fox said it’s also sold-out for the NFC Championship game. The company is now offering spots for the pre- and postgame shows.

Winter said Fox set records in price and pace due to advertisers buying more into live sports and a consumer base that can afford to spend on products.

“First and foremost, the economy is healthy; it starts and stops right there,” Winter said, via Sports Business Daily. “If the economy weren’t cooperating, it would be an entirely different story.”

Ourand reported in May that Fox will have fewer commercial breaks, but will keep the standard amount of commercials. Each break is 30 seconds longer and there will be four per quarter rather than five. He said at the time the change would likely push advertisers to buy sooner since there are fewer first quarter opportunities, which seems to have worked out.

Winter said viewers can expect to see technology, automotive and packaged goods advertisements as well as movie commercials, which he said made a comeback. “Non-traditional advertisers” will also be involved as in past years.

President Donald Trump reportedly agreed on “broad terms” to air a campaign ad during the Super Bowl. It would be the first time in recent memory a national election ad would be part of the game telecast, Ourand reported. The Iowa caucus is the day after the Super Bowl, which is Feb. 2, 2020.

All of the advertisers for Super Bowl LIV are in place in record time. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
All of the advertisers for Super Bowl LIV are in place in record time. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

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