Super Bowl ads sold out, Fox says

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 12:00 am

Fox Broadcasting is telling advertisers that commercial time during Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2 is sold out.

Because the Super Bowl is the biggest day of the year for advertising as well as football, the pace of sales of commercial time for ads shown during each game is closely watched by Madison Avenue. To be sold out just after Thanksgiving is an above-average result, meaning demand for spots was strong; when demand is weak, as during recessions, for instance, the network broadcasting the Super Bowl may have spots left to sell until the weekend of the game.

“The Super Bowl is done,” Neil Mulcahy, executive vice president for sales at Fox Sports, part of 21st Century Fox, said.

When asked which categories helped achieve the sellout, Mulcahy cited automobiles, saying: “Certainly, the autos embraced it. All the car companies are back, and GM is back.”

His reference was to a decision by General Motors, which said in August that it would return as a sponsor after sitting out Super Bowl XLVII this year.

Mulcahy declined to list specific advertisers beyond that. The other automakers that have said so far that they plan to advertise during Super Bowl XLVIII are Hyundai, Jaguar and Kia.

The advertisers in other categories that have announced they are buying commercials include Anheuser-Busch InBev, Butterfinger, Dannon Oikos yogurt, Doritos, GoDaddy, Intuit, SodaStream and Wonderful pistachios.

Demand among potential sponsors did not seem to be affected much by the rates Fox is charging. Earlier estimates were that the price tag was around $4 million for each 30 seconds of commercial time in the game, but there are indications that some advertisers are paying in a range between $4 million and $4.5 million.

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