Super Bowl Ads on the Upswing

LOS ANGELES ( – The price of a 30-second commercial during January’s Super Bowl has climbed back above $2 million, reversing a two-year trend of declining ad rates for the most-watched event on television.

Ad-agency and marketing executives say Super Bowl spots are going for between $2 million and $2.2 million. That’s good news for ABC, which is broadcasting the game, scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 26.

“Suffice it to say it’s good to be in big-event television right now,” Ed Erhardt, head of sales for ABC Sports, tells The New York Times.

While it’s unlikely the cost of ads will reach the record levels of the 2000 Super Bowl, when scads of now-defunct Internet companies pushed rates up to $2.5 million for 30 seconds, they will probably finish above last year’s level. FOX got about $1.9 million for each spot then.

The rise in Super Bowl rates reflects a trend across all the broadcast networks. After a down period caused by a slow economy and the terrorist attacks, several networks set a record for up-front ad sales in the spring.

Ratings for National Football League games are generally higher this season than last, further driving advertisers’ interest in the Super Bowl. ABC has sold about 85 percent of its 30-second spots for the game.