Advertisers Flock to N.F.L. Broadcasts as a ‘Safe Haven’

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The N.F.L. season kickoff is giving the advertising industry reason to rejoice after months of disruption related to the pandemic and civil unrest.Media companies and marketing executives are looking forward to a boost in TV ratings amid uncertainty in other professional and college sports leagues over how their seasons will proceed. NBC said it sold out of ad space for the season-opening game on Thursday night, between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans, with revenue up substantially from last year and an average 30-second commercial costing nearly $900,000.Football tends to be far more attractive to advertisers than basketball, baseball and hockey combined, according to the research firm Kantar. The 2019 football regular season, playoffs and Super Bowl generated an estimated $4.3 billion in ad revenue for CBS, Fox and NBC, with nearly $200 million coming in the first week.With broadcast rights contracts expiring starting next year, analysts from the research firm MoffettNathanson predicted in an investor note on Thursday that the league would be able to command “gigantic increases for the upcoming cycle of new N.F.L. contracts,” with some networks paying up to 75 percent more for their packages. Current media partners “all seemingly are eager …

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