Following a 5% gain in TV viewership for NFL regular-season games this past season, the NFL's TV networks had a 14% increase in national TV advertising revenues, according to a recent estimate.
MediaRadar, an advertising research company, says the mid-double-digit percentage hike grew NFL national TV revenues to $4.2 billion. The top ten NFL ad spenders in 2019 were Amazon, Verizon, Hyundai, General Motors, Ford Motors, Geico, Anheuser-Busch, AT&T, Toyota and Progressive Insurance.
Automotives are still the biggest NFL TV sponsors -- where 19% of those marketers' overall TV spend goes to buying advertising in NFL games, according to MediaRadar. Technology companies are at 17%, followed by retail at 16%, financial at 15% and media at 8%.
A huge number of NFL advertisers have been consistent in their football spending over the last several years. Fifty-five percent of NFL advertisers in 2015 were still buying advertising in the NFL in 2019.
Standard Media Index said strong NFL advertiser demand drove up revenue at four networks that air games -- Fox, NBC, CBS and ESPN -- by 10% in fourth quarter. Helping to drive this increase, networks collectively added 3% more advertising units to those games, with paid advertising 30-second unit prices up an average of 7%.
Another media researcher, iSpot.tv, recently said Verizon was the top NFL regular-season spender -- $150.6 million this season.
Verizon was followed by Geico ($139.6 million); Progressive Insurance ($121.4 million); State Farm ($100.2 million); Toyota Motors ($89.8 million); Hyundai ($85.6 million); Apple iPhone ($76.8 million); AT&T Wireless ($74.4 million); USAA ($67.5 million); and T-Mobile ($66.3 million)
NFL regular-season TV games averaged 16.5 million viewers in 2019, according to Nielsen, up 5% versus 2018.