The brisk pace of sales for the 2011 event, slated to be held in February in Arlington, Texas, underscores not only the greater comfort advertisers have in a recovering economy, but also the increased appeal of live sports programs to marketers who continue to seek broad audiences during a climate of rapidly accelerating media fragmentation.
Fox's sellout should come as little surprise. The network had sold approximately 80% of its Super Bowl inventory in this year's upfront market and had reached a sell-out level of 90% just a few weeks ago. CBS, facing a less certain financial climate, worked until the start of February 2010, to sell out its Super Bowl broadcast this year.
Fox has been seeking between $2.8 million and $3 million for a 30-second spot in next year's game, according to media buyers. CBS sought between $2.5 million and $3 million for its broadcast this year, which broke records to become the most-watched event on television.
The Super Bowl, which in recent years has seen some blue-chip members of its ad roster defect, has gotten a boost. Both General Motors and Pepsi beverages are back in the lineup this year, after taking an absence due to economic concerns (GM) or marketing considerations (Pepsi ).
Other members of the 2011 ad lineup include Anheuser-Busch InBev, GoDaddy.com, E-Trade, Cars.com, Coca-Cola, Bridgestone and Volkswagen. PepsiCo's Frito-Lay will also be on board again to push Doritos.
Broadcasting & Cable first reported that sales were complete on Wednesday.