NBC’s Ad Sales Team Is Already Winning With NBC Sunday Night Football

American Football
Jean-Daniel Francoeur

NBC Universal is already on the 15-yard line with ad sales for NBC Sunday Night Football. The 2006-2007 season kicks off this Thursday night.

With a strong schedule in the offing and a squad of top announcers led by John Madden and Al Michaels, advertisers have been eager to sign on. Peter Lazarus, senior VP of sales for NBC Sports and NBC Olympics, said last week the network is 85% sold out and that revenues are pacing according to plan. After the Thursday night debut, NBC will regularly air football on Sunday nights.

“Our goal was to maintain a premium over weekend afternoon football game pricing, and we’ve been able to accomplish that, and now we’ve gotten to a successful place in a lot of key categories,” Mr. Lazarus said.

Chevrolet Signs On As NBC Sunday Night Football Pre-Game Sponsor

In an unusual deal, NBC has secured General MotorsChevrolet division as a sponsor for the 15 minutes of its pre-game show from 8 p.m. to 8:15 p.m., directly before the start of the game.

The pre-game show starts at 7 p.m. “The whole idea of a network having a studio show in prime time is unusual,” Mr. Lazarus said. “They’re trying to focus on the section closest to the games.” Toyota is the halftime sponsor.

NBC’s Expensive Bid To Steal Football Away From ABC

Securing NBC Sunday Night Football wasn’t cheap. Needing to add some muscle to the NBC lineup, NBC Universal agreed to pay the National Football League $600 million a year to replace ABC as the league’s prime-time network partner.

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