In a slightly more positive result than the 9% Nielsen-measured NFL Super Bowl viewership decline, the average commercial unit rate for the big game this year sank 5% to an average $4.73 million for a 30-second ad, according to Standard Media Index.
The ad-spending and pricing data company estimates the average unit rate in 2020 was $4.99 million. There were 85 thirty-second announcements in 2021 versus 86 in 2020.
Total advertising revenue was down 6% to $400.7 million for the big game versus $428.1 million a year ago.
A mostly lopsided “Super Bowl LV” game witnessed a steep decline of 9% on CBS to a Nielsen-measured 91.6 million viewers -- the lowest viewing for the game since 2006.
The game also posted lower ad dollars among consumer packaged group marketers -- a 23% share of all Super Bowl ad dollars (from 33% a year ago). Automotive also lost ground, sinking to a 17% share (from 19% a year ago). Categories which grew in the big game: Financial services to a 11% share (from 6%) and entertainment/media to a 12% share (from 11%).
SMI says total NFL ad spending in the recently completed season -- for the regular season and playoffs -- was down 2% to $3.8 billion. The regular season was up 3% to $2.8 million, while the playoffs gained 2% to $614 million.
Average revenue per game in the regular season was down 1% to $25 million. The NFL playoffs sank 15% to $51 million per game.
Standard Media Index results come from raw media-buying data from media agencies, with 85% for national TV ad spend.