The Super Bowl Is Now North America's Biggest Money-Making Sports TV Event

by Cork Gaines, Business Insider  

It is no secret that networks make a killing selling ads for the Super Bowl as a 30-second spot on NBC this year went for $4.2 million, a 75% increase in just the last eight years according to Kantar Media, but it was only recently that it became the biggest money-maker in North American sports.

Because the Super Bowl is a single-day event that lasts approximately four hours, the networks are limited in the number of ads they can sell.

In 2010, the NFL, World Series, and college basketball's Final Four generate comparable amount of network sales revenue for television ads, and the World Series only lasted five games. In 2011, when the World Series went seven games, it was actually a bigger money-maker than the Super Bowl. However, in the last three years, the Super Bowl has put some distance between itself and the other two to the point that it no longer matters how many games the World Series lasts.

This year, the Super Bowl is expected to generate $331.8 million in network ad revenue, $74.8 million more than the 7-game World Series ($257.0M) and $149.7 million more than the 3-game Final Four.

Network Ad Sales for North America 


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