NFL National Ad Spend Records Uptick, TV Ratings Improve

NFL TV advertising spend is now up slightly through almost four months of the season -- with TV viewing improving from early-season sharp declines.

Through 15 weeks of the season, national TV advertiser spending on NFL football programming across all programs/dayparts — Sunday afternoon programming, “Sunday Night Football,” “Thursday Night Football”and “Monday Night Football” — is up 3% to $2.97 billion, according to

This comes from 626 brands airing 2,413 different spots.

A year ago through the same time period -- early September through December 20 -- the total was $2.87 billion, with 605 brands airing individual 2,100 spots.

This reverses the national TV advertising NFL spend results of a month ago. Through November 20, $1.95 billion in national TV advertising had been spent, down 2% from the $1.99 billion over the same time period a year ago.



For the early part of the season, NFL ratings took some steep declines around 15% across all dayparts/programs. But recent results have turned around, partly because of late season/key playoff bound team contests.

For the just-completed weekend, NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” game between Tampa Bay-Dallas was up 33% to 24.1 million Nielsen viewers versus the same week a year before; ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” contest between Carolina-Washington grew 3% to 11.2 million; and NBC/NFL Network’s  “Thursday Night Football” was up 144% to 14.7 million.

For CBS’ doubleheader Sunday afternoon effort, the network posted 33% for its early regional game action to 15 million viewers. That  was even with the same week a year before for its late afternoon New England-Denver game at 25 million viewers.

The biggest NFL spending brands this year were Verizon, $133.1 million; Toyota, $79.9 million; NFL, $70.6 million; GEICO, $68.6 million; and Chevrolet, $64.2 million.

NFL categories results: Automotive makers, $660.3 million; electronics and communication: wireless, $221.8 million; insurance, $175.7 million; restaurants, $172.2 million; and electronics: mobile devices, $156.9 million.

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