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NBCU Still Has Unsold Olympics Ad Inventory

  • Mediaweek, Sunday, November 15, 2009 8:01 PM
With fewer than 90 days to go before the Olympic torch arrives at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, NBC Universal still has a solid chunk of inventory left to sell, say insiders. NBCU must move between 30-35% of its 2010 Winter Games avails if it's to be wrapped by the time the games begin, per media agency estimates.

In late November 2006, the network was about 85% sold out for the Torino Games, well on its way to setting a record haul of $930 million. That same year saw the U.S. economy grow 2.7%. "NBC will be on a price rollercoaster until they firm things up," says Larry Novenstern, director of electronic media for Optimedia. "There may be some good opportunities between now and then, and at this point, they're willing to listen to anything."

One TV exec says that NBC had become increasingly active in the past few weeks. "I can't say whether this is going to hold up, but right now, if you're a major advertiser looking for big-time exposure in Q1, the Olympics is a hell of a buy," says the executive. NBC's flexibility on pricing is a necessary byproduct of reduced commitments from the likes of Anheuser-Busch, which has cut its Olympics spend in half.

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