CBS: Super Bowl ads on target

CBS: Super Bowl ads on target

Says football game’s advertising on target, sees record ad revenues

January 9, 2001: 3:08 p.m. ET

NEW YORK (CNNfn) – CBS on Tuesday said it expects to score at the cash register on Super Bowl Sunday, refuting a published report that the network is having a hard time selling ads for the NFL’s Jan. 28 championship game.

Calling the leftover ad time “a bad sign,” The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday reported that Viacom (VIA.B: Research, Estimates)-owned CBS has sold only about 90 percent of its inventory.

Some 10 percent, or about six, of the 30-second spots remain, the paper said, quoting Joseph Abruzzese, CBS’s (CBS: Research, Estimates) president of sales.

In contrast, commercial time on the game was sold out by the same time last year, when the Super Bowl aired on Walt Disney Co.’s (DIS: Research, Estimates) ABC network, the paper said, adding that other networks have typically had only 5 percent of their Super Bowl ad slots unsold just prior to the game.

But a CBS representative told that the network has sold up to the 90 percent mark “by design,” and that the level is approximately where it wanted to be at this point.

The spokesman added that the 90 percent threshold was “right on target” and that the remaining inventory has been held back purposely. In addition, he added, the network is poised to generate more revenue during this Super Bowl than any other.