Since mid-November, the network apparently has taken its time in looking for buyers for the two 30-second units remaining, although one marketer could use the time for a 60-second spot.
The network hopes to fetch up to $3 million for each 30-second ad, sources said--which would be above the $2.7 million figure bandied about in the media.
Selling so much inventory this far before kickoff is unusual; in recent years, spots have been sold for about half or even much less than the widely publicized price tag, right up until the Friday before the game.
Despite the apparent near-sellout, Rupert Murdoch, CEO of Fox parent News Corp., recently said that sales were wrapped up in a presentation where he threw cold water on the future of free network TV. But he was bullish on the prospects for big events, such as the Super Bowl.