NFL Regular-Season TV Ads Dipped In 2017

In a rare -- if not first-time -- occurrence, NFL regular-season national TV advertising slipped for the current 2017 season from the year before, according to one estimate.

Among four TV networks -- CBS, NBC, Fox, and ESPN (not including the NFL Network) -- advertising revenue dropped 1.2% lower to $2.42 billion.

SMI says it was the first time since tracking the big sports franchise that the league has seen a drop. In 2016, SMI says the NFL totaled $2.45 billion; in 2015, $2.38 billion; and for 2014, $2.17 billion.

James Fennessy, CEO of SMI, said: “Despite a fairly significant fall in ratings, CPM’s were strong and demand continued to be high.”

The average price for a 30-second commercial in the NFL inched up 1.2% to $505,000 per 30-second spot. Due to lower ratings, makegoods -- audience deficiency units -- inched up from 21% of all units to 23%.



The automotive industry -- the NFL's largest ad category -- was down 5.4% in spending for the regular season, with consumer electronics, the second-biggest category, sinking 3%. Categories that increased included insurance, up 30%; alcoholic beverages, adding 16%; and quick-serve restaurants, improving 6.4%.

SMI derives these total industry estimates from actual spending by ad agencies representing about 70% of all U.S. agency spend.

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