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Times Square draws 40 million annual unique visitors-roughly 14% of the U.S. population. Kodak estimates the area is in more than 100 million snapshots a year. If Times Square were an Arbitron market, it would rank No. 152, between Rockford,Ill. and Flagstaff, Ariz.

But the "bow tie" of Broadway and 7th-which actually spans from 41st to 53rd streets and 6th to 8th avenues-offers more than just tourist throngs and neon eye candy. With a fast-growing work force of 274,000, it's become an intersection of entertainment, finance and media, counting Conde Nast, Ernst & Young and Walt Disney Co.'s ABC studios among its residents.

"It's a microcosm of global business," said Michael Steinberg, VP-sales and marketing for Clear Channel's Spectacolor division. "You can put a sign in front of Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley for less than what you'd probably pay to run in a monthly trade that covers the financial industry," he said.

CPMs in Times Square, a $69 million-a-year market dominated by outdoor players Viacom, Clear Channel, Sherwood Outdoor, Van Wagner and Vista Media, range from $2 to $5, compared to around $20 for a prime-time network TV buy. While Super Bowl spots at $2.6 million reach 80 million, the One Times Square tower snares 211 million viewers when the New Year's Eve ball drops, said Sherwood President Brian Turner, who wouldn't comment on prices at One and Two Times Square. (Industry estimates peg monthly rates for the 11 spaces on the two landmarks at $200,000 to $350,000. Nissan's Cup Noodles is leaving One Times Square in 2006, creating the tower's only vacancy until 2012). "We like to think of [the Super Bowl] as just a tailgating party," he said.

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