Fox And All-Star Game: Striking It Rich Or "Out" With Advertisers?

MLB 2008 Allstar Game Logo
MLB 2008 Allstar Game Logo

There’s just one question to be answered from last night’s MLB All-Star Game. Did Fox make any extra money from the 15-inning game?

Fox’s pre-game broadcast began at 8 pm ET and the final out was reportedly made at 1:37 am ET.

The network obviously didn’t factor in that this would be the longest game in All-Star history, so what about all those extra commercial breaks?

Here are the basics.

Fox didn’t have any contingencies to run certain ads in the event of extra innings. Only 10 of the previous 78 All-Star Games (or 14 percent) had gone to extra innings before.

So sources say that the advertisers that received time in the breaks after nine innings were completed, were companies who advertise on Fox’s regular season coverage. This is because ratings on regular season Fox broadcasts are currently below the advertiser’s guaranteed rating, so these spots served as what they call in the industry “make goods.”

This means that these spots certainly had value to Fox, but the extra innings didn’t necessarily generate additional income.

The best part might be that, based on the way the game went, advertisers who paid for this year’s All-Star game spots--at a record $525,000 per 30-second spots--likely won’t be owed anything by Fox.

Add the hour parade (those spots sold for about $150,000 each) to the spots for the game and figure it was a $40 million night for the network.

Watered down by interleague play and a vastly different television environment, the All-Star Game draws millions less than its heyday in the 1970s and 1980s. Last year’s All-Star Game was the second-lowest rating ever.

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