Super Bowl is a big draw as ad pre-bookings hit 80%

LONDON – Viacom-owned CBS has sold 80% of advertising spots around Super Bowl XXXVIII to a combination of stalwarts including General Motors and PepsiCo, and newcomers including Procter & Gamble, three months before the event.

The game is being held on February 1 and 30-second spots are selling for an average price of $2.3m (£1.36m), around 8% higher than in the 2003 event, according to reports.

News of the quick sale of airtime around the event shows that, despite the ad recession, big events are still drawing large audiences.

Younger audiences in the US, especially males aged 18-34, are said to be dropping. Advertisers wanting to reach these viewers are said to be racing to advertise around events such as Super Bowl, the World Series, the Grammys and the Academy Awards.

The record revenues this year will come as a relief to broadcasters after a low point in 2002, when Fox only managed to sell the last of the ad spots just four days before it aired.

CBS, ABC and Fox take turns to broadcast the event in rotation. The last time CBS broadcast the biggest American football match of the year was in 2001.

Other advertisers signed up for the event include FedEx and Anheuser-Busch.

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