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After a rough 2018, CBS looking for a lift from Super Bowl LIII

Stephen Battaglio, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Business News

Ianniello said the company's revenue for the entire day should be "in the ballpark" of the $500 million NBC said it took in when it aired Super Bowl LII.

Sales have been strong for the game, with more than 90 percent of the commercials sold, according to Ianniello. CBS executives did not divulge an average price, but one person familiar with the ad sales situation at the network said the average price for a 30-second spot is a record high $5.25 million, up from $5.05 million last year.

CBS is not making a projection on the audience for Super Bowl LIII, but Ianniello said he is "quite confident" it will be more than 100 million viewers.

Super Bowl LII had an average audience of 103.4 million viewers on NBC according to Nielsen data -- the lowest figure since 2009. It was still the 10th most watched TV program in history.

There is a reasonable expectation that the audience number should rebound this year as overall viewing of NFL games was up 6 percent during the regular season after two straight years of declines. CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus attributes the gains to more competitive contests and the emergence of several young star quarterbacks. The controversy over players kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem to protest social injustice also ebbed.

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The number of Super Bowl viewers has slipped from an all time high of 114.4 million in 2015 as a growing number of consumers have been streaming the game online. CBS expects to benefit from that trend as it will have the game on its subscription service CBS All Access.

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