Fox Seeks at Least $7 Million for Commercials in 2025 Super Bowl (EXCLUSIVE)

These days, it’s never too early to start talking about the Super Bowl.

Fox Corp’s 2025 broadcast of Super Bowl LIX is nearly a year away, slated to air Feb. 9 from New Orleans. During early talks with potential advertisers, however, the company is already making a bid to sell 30-second ads for at least $7 million each, according to three people familiar with the matter. The price could mark a slightly higher starting point in negotiations than that established by Paramount Global, which aired Super Bowl LVIII in February to a record audience and initially sought between $6.5 million and $7 million for a half-minute ad berth.

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Fox declined to make executives available for comment.

Super Bowl pricing often doesn’t emerge until later in the year — or at least until the start of the industry’s annual “upfront” market, when U.S. TV networks try to sell the bulk of their commercial inventory for their next programming cycle. But in the streaming era, live sports have taken on a critical role in the media business, which still derives its biggest audiences and highest ad prices from live events that attract simultaneous audiences.

NBC has continued to use its looming broadcast of the 2024 Paris Olympics to drive new revenue into its coffers. Nexstar Media’s CW has loaded up on sports ranging from NASCAR to LIV Golf to WWE professional wrestling in a bid to generate new revenue for its broadcast schedule.

In the last two years, networks that had rights to the Big Game have been selling the bulk of its commercial inventory much earlier in the process. CBS was able to declare sell-out in November of last year. By September of 2022, Fox had sold 95% of its inventory for Super Bowl LVII, which aired in 2023. An economic slowdown in the fourth quarter delayed Fox’s efforts.

Media buyers say they are taking a methodical stance in Super Bowl talks, trying to see if there is wiggle room when it comes to the price. One buying executive was skeptical some advertisers would be “chomping at the bit” with a $7 million price tag.

So far, executives have been optimistic — particularly because the Super Bowl has reached record new audiences in each of its last two outings. “We have never received the Super Bowl in this good of a shape before,” Jeff Collins, Fox Corp.’s president of advertising sales, told Variety in an earlier interview.

An estimated 123.7 million viewers watched Super Bowl LVIII on Feb. 11, according to Nielsen, when the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers in a rare overtime segment. CBS’ broadcast drew an average of 120.3 million viewers — the largest single-network audience for the event. An additional 2.3 million viewers watched the Spanish-language broadcast on Univision, and 1.2 million viewed a kids’ version of the broadcast that appeared on Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite.

Fox has other reasons to strike while the Super Bowl is under its control. Under the NFL’s most recent rights deal, it will be some time before Fox gets hold of one again. Disney has joined the rotation, meaning that Fox won’t air another gridiron extravaganza until 2029. The Super Bowl tends to boost the economics of the company that aired it. Paramount Global, which has in recent quarters grappled with downturns in advertising revenue, said Monday that Super Bowl ad cash boosted its overall sales during its first quarter, as well as subscriptions to Paramount+, which streamed the game. Fox in 2023 indicated its Super Bowl broadcast that year helped generate $600 million.

Like other networks, Fox is seeking additional payments from those would-be Super Bowl sponsors who aren’t regular buyers with the company. Each year, most networks insist on a commitment from advertisers that don’t spend regularly with them to buy other parts of its portfolio of media assets, which this year could include Tubi, Fox Broadcasting or some other area of Fox Sports.

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