Super Bowl commercial slots selling fast, CBS says

The Super Bowl is more than a month away, yet CBS says it has less than a handful of remaining commercial slots for the game.

CBS (CBS) has sold 95% of its 62 ad slots, says Jo Ann Ross, president of network sales. This despite the fact that the nation still is climbing out of the economic downturn and that two of the longest-running Super Bowl advertisers — Pepsi-Cola and General Motors— have said they’ll pass on this year’s game.

The first half of the Feb. 7 game is sold out, says John Bogusz, executive vice president of sales for CBS Sports. One key to brisk sales, he says: “There’s not one price for ads in the game.” Advertisers say prices have ranged from a few 30-second slots as low as $2 million to some at up to $3 million. The first quarter costs most, the fourth quarter, least.

“It seems like every day I walk in the office, we’ve sold another one or two,” Ross says. “Sooner or later, there won’t be another one or two left.” At this point for the last CBS Super Bowl broadcast in 2007, Ross says, “We were sitting with 11 or 12 unsold units.”

Most game veterans are back, including Anheuser-Busch and Coca-Cola, along with four foreign automakers and a to-be-announced Detroit brand.