- European advertisers are bracing themselves for dramatic inflation in the cost of reaching TV sports audiences, with the current UEFA Champions' League trophy already driving prices up around Europe.
According to new research from The Media Edge, major sporting events such as the Champions' League are proving so popular amongst advertisers chasing 16-34 year old men that the cost of advertising airtime in such events is almost 40 per cent higher than during regular televised sports programmes.
In the UK and Spain advertisers are paying between a 24 per cent and a 38 per cent premium for a 30 second spot in the Champions' League compared to other top five sporting events. In Italy, where interest in the event is higher, The Media Edge calculates that advertisers are paying premiums of up to 1200 per cent.
The report notes that the impact of these rates is already pushing some advertisers out of the game. Media fragmentation, as more channels launch, is set to compound the problem, with broadcasters able to charge higher prices for special events which generate big audiences. The report claims that in the future it is possible only a handful of advertisers will be able to meet the prices demanded by broadcasters.
Martin Thomas, the total communications director of The Media Edge, said: "We have heard a great deal about audience fragmentation in an age of expanding broadcasting opportunities. A natural by-product of this trend will be to increase the advertising value of those few television events, such as sporting occasions, that can guarantee significant armchair audiences."