NFL TV ad spending down 1.2% for 2017 season

NFL game
The NFL’s amount of ad spending for December was down 3% from the same month in 2016. (Pixabay)

Advertising revenue during in-game NFL programming fell 1.2% to $2.42 billion during the 2017 regular season, according to Standard Media Index.

The firm’s total ad spend figures for the 2017 NFL regular season is based on figures from Sept. 7 to Dec. 31 for NBC, CBS, FOX, and ESPN broadcasts.

“For the first time since we have been tracking the market we saw a slight drop of in-game dollars. Despite a fairly significant fall in ratings, CPMs were strong and demand continued to be high,” said Standard Media Index CEO James Fennessy in a statement. “This again demonstrates that the NFL remains the powerhouse of national TV ROI. Advertisers understand the exceptional return they get as a result of the large, engaged and guaranteed audiences enjoying a full screen experience in this unique environment.”


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According to SMI’s recent totals, NFL ad spend totaled $2.17 billion in 2014, then jumped 9.6% to $2.38 billion in 2015 before rising 3% to $2.45 billion.

RELATED: The NFL accounted for 16.4% of total TV ad spend in December: SMI

SMI said that the NFL accounted for 16.4% of all television ad spending in December. However, the NFL’s amount of ad spending for December was down 3% from the same month in 2016.

For the season, ad loads during NFL games held steady but paid unit rates (excluding ADUs) rose 1.2% from $499,000 to $505,000 per 30-second spot. Delivery of ADUs—or makegoods—grew from 21% to 23% of the units due to lower ratings.

The auto industry was the top advertiser in the NFL and spent about 50% more than consumer electronics, the next biggest advertiser. But auto spending was down 5.4% and consumer electronics was down 3% while insurance rose 30%, alcoholic beverages rose 16%, and quick serve restaurants rose 6.4% in terms of NFL advertising this year.

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