For the first time since the Standard Media Index (SMI) began tracking in-game NFL advertising revenue, the total dollars declined YOY (-1.2% to $2.42 billion). While the cost of spots rose 1.2% to $505,000, as the demand remains high (particularly in the upfront marketplace); the marginal per spot increase was more than off-set by a rise in “make-goods” as viewership declined 9.7%. The data includes all ads shown on ESPN, CBS, NBC & FOX NFL broadcasts between September 7th and December 31st (the NFL’s 2017 regular season).
Howie Long-Short: The reduced spend by automotive (-5.4% YOY) & consumer electronics companies (-3%) had the greatest impact on the total revenue generated, as those two categories represent the NFL’s biggest spenders. Several categories that generate a smaller percentage of the league’s advertising revenue increased their ’17 spend, including; insurance (+30%), alcoholic beverages (+16%) and fast-food restaurants. For reference purposes, total NFL in-game ad revenue was up 9.6% (to $2.38 billion) in ’15 and 3% ($2.45 billion) in ’16.
Fan Marino: Despite the declining viewership, the NFL remains TV’s biggest draw; 37 of the Top 50 most watched broadcasts of 2017 were NFL games, up from 28 in 2016 (Olympic year) and matching the league’s total from 2015. 9 of the Top 12 were NFL games and Super Bowl LI was the most watched program. 11 other playoff games made the list, as did 6 Sunday Night Football games, the season opener on NBC and 18 CBS and Fox Sunday afternoon windows.