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Wait. You Paid How Much?

Wait. You Paid How Much?

Yep, it’s a record!


FOX Sports reports that 80% of its Super Bowl ads have already been bought, at record prices.

One 30-second spot costs $5.6 million.

There are 17 ad avails left and those are being fought over by 25 different clients, so it’s possible someone will actually end up paying more than $5.6 million for 30 seconds of air time during this season’s upcoming Super Bowl.

Meanwhile, in every city in America, at least one radio station is playing non-stop Christmas music. They start earlier each year because research and ratings prove without any doubt that the “Christmas Music Station” in every city generates a cume over these 6-7 weeks that often is higher than the cume of the top rated TV station in the same town.

Don’t expect any announcements about ads selling for record amounts though.

Radio allows Nielsen to label this extraordinary cume engine as “Holiday” ratings, as if that somehow negates the overwhelming number of people listening for their Christmas songs every day for weeks.

And because Radio allows this, it in effect apologizes for upsetting the ratings apple cart that Nielsen so cleverly pushes out to potential advertisers, to the point that some buyers discount the entire ratings period as a meaningless aberration.

The first time this happened, I was upset Nielsen (then Arbitron).

By now, decades into this phenomenon, I say shame on Radio for allowing it. Does anyone believe a television network would discount the ads they sell in the Super Bowl because it’s a one-time event, because next week, whatever airs in that time slot won’t produce two-thirds of the viewers that special programming did?

If we don’t respect our ability to generate listening, why should we expect buyers and clients to do so?