CBS looking for $2.6 million for a 30-second Super Bowl ad

By Paul R. La Monica, editor at large

NEW YORK ( — The National Football League playoffs begin this weekend, and Super Bowl XLI is only about a month away.

But while sports junkies argue about which teams will wind up playing in the big game in Miami on February 4, many business people and casual fans are more concerned about the advertising frenzy associated with the Super Bowl – that is, which companies will have commercials airing during the game and how much are they paying to do so.

According to several media buyers, CBS (Charts), which will air Super Bowl XLI, is said to be asking for slightly higher than the record $2.5 million that Walt Disney (Charts)-owned ABC charged last year for a 30-second spot during Super Bowl XL.

“I’m hearing that ads are being sold for more than last year,” said Bill Carroll, vice president and director of programming with Katz Television Group, a media buying and consulting firm based in New York. “It’s not going to be a dramatic increase but informally, people from advertising agencies as well as CBS have said it will probably be a new record.”

John Bogusz, executive vice president for sports sales and marketing for CBS, confirmed that some advertisers are paying more than $2.6 million for a 30-second commercial. He added that most of the commercial spots for the first half of the game are sold out but that CBS is still looking to sell inventory, mainly during the fourth quarter.