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Super Bowl: Touchdown For Big Media?

As you may know, the Super Bowl is the biggest advertising event of the year. The game typically draws around 95 million viewers with commercial rates running far above what other TV events command.

And depending on who’s playing – sometimes the ads are more memorable than the game itself.

Take last year for instance.

A Nielsen study found that 66 percent of viewers remember their favorite ads from the 2009 Super Bowl, while only 39 percent recall which team won. (Pittsburgh 27 vs. Arizona 23)

However, a year ago, when the game was carried by NBC, making money from Super Bowl required more elbow grease to say the least. With the recession in full swing, companies sharply scaled back ad budgets and sales slowed in the final weeks before the game.

FedEx and General Motors skipped advertising entirely on last year's game.

Considering CBS sold out its Super Bowl commercial time this year, with some of the 30 second slots costing more than $3 million, is big media back?

What must you know?

The Super Bowl is a microcosm for overall advertising, says David Bank of RBC Capital Markets. CBS sold out at the ‘ask’ price but they had to take some advertising that they otherwise wouldn’t have taken -- such as an anti-abortion ad from Focus on the Family.

If the market had been stronger they probably would have gotten more mainstream advertisers, he adds. I think that’s reflective of the overall advertising economy. It’s good, it’s made a lot of progress but there’s probably more upside to go.

* And in case you’re wondering, Bank tells the desk ahead of big media earnings next week he’s bullish Viacom.


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For JoeTerranova

Terranova Works For (VRTS)
Terranova Is Chief Market Strategist Of Virtus Investment Partners, Ltd.
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For Will Landers
BlackRock Latin America Fund Is Long (PBR)
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BlackRock Latin America Fund Is Long (AMX)

For David Bank
RBC Capital Markets Or Affiliate Managed Or Co-Managed A Public Offering For (DIS), (DISCA) In Past 12 Months
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