NBC announced on Tuesday that it has already sold $1bn in ads for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
NBC, a unit of Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O), said it had sold $1 billion in national ads for the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, as the network prepares to broadcast a rare Games where some of the most high-profile contests will air live in prime time for U.S. audiences. NBC said in a statement on Tuesday that the Games, which start on Aug. 5, were on pace to generate the biggest Olympics advertising sales ever. The $1 billion figure includes national broadcast, cable and digital ad sales, the network said. "We've surpassed the $1 billion mark four months ahead of (the 2012 Summer Games in) London," Seth Winter, NBC Sports' executive vice president of advertising Sales, said in a statement. By nature of a short time zone difference between Brazil and the United States, the Rio games will feature more live events such as track and field and swimming than in London, over 17 consecutive nights in August. U.S. advertisers have already bought out some inventory, but some prime-time advertising is still available on the main NBC broadcast network and cable channels, according to NBC.
For the 2012 London Games, which were six hours ahead, NBC nabbed an average of 31 million viewers during its taped-delayed prime-time coverage. More live coverage this summer should only inflate viewership after ESPN saw record viewership for its 2014 World Cup coverage from Brazil. Not including production costs, NBC is paying roughly $1.28 billion for the rights for the Rio Olympics. Including local revenue from affiliates and owned-and-operated stations, NBC brought in $1.3 billion in ad revenue from the London games, a break-even number. NBC made a small profit for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, and surpassing $1 billion with so much time to go should help it reach that goal this year.
The London 2012 Olympics was the most-watched television event in US history, according to NBC, which said it pulled in more than 219 million viewers in the US. That number was up on the 215 million who tuned in to watch the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The Rio 2016 Olympic Games open on August 5.