The Super Bowl is as much an excuse to sit around and watch a bunch of flashy, big-budget commercials as it is about eating your weight in chicken wings and guacamole. There's also apparently a football game that happens, too? But just how much do companies shell out for a few seconds of incredibly valuable airtime during the big game broadcast? And how much more expensive is it in 2019 than it was when the event first began in 1967?
We did some digging to figure out how much brands are paying to advertise during the matchup between the Patriots and Rams on Sunday, and how it compares to the going rate in years past.
Super Bowl Commercials Are the Most Expensive They've Ever Been
CBS, the host network for the big game this year, is commanding a whopping $5.25 million for a single 30-second spot, a record-breaking amount for such a brief amount of airtime, according to reporting from CNBC. Crunch the numbers and that means perennial big-name advertisers like Budweiser and Doritos will drop an insane $175,000 per second to get their ad in front of the predicted 100 million-plus people who'll tune in this Sunday night. That's up from last year's record-setting high of between $5.05 and $5.2 million for 30 seconds. For some perspective, commercials of similar length during a regular season NFL game cost roughly $625,000.
Some argue that the cost of a Super Bowl commercial may have peaked, though. That's because while rates have gone up this year, the increase is marginal compared to the steady increases in the past 10 years (the cost of a 30 second spot has nearly doubled since 2007). As for why, it could be due to the relatively poor ratings for last year's game, which saw its fewest viewers in nine years, according to Bloomberg.
Notably, the timing of a commercial has a big influence on what it costs, too. For instance, ads that air in the early part of the game are typically much pricier than those that air later on (early eyeballs are the most valuable). Each advertiser's deal with the network is different, though, and CBS may be offering package deals that include spots during its other popular telecasts and programming. And while the cost of even attempting to put out the commercial that people will be talking about the next day is head-spinningly high, it won't stop deep-pocketed companies from trying. Anheuser-Busch alone has booked a whopping six and a half minutes of commercial airtime during the broadcast, according to CNBC, or an estimated $34 million worth.