NBA Generating Bank as Demand for Ad Inventory Increases
No matter how predictable the NBA playoffs could be at times, they are still must-watch television and with that comes many different avenues of cash revenue.
In fact, the league’s television partners, ESPN/ABC and TNT have been receiving a multitude of demands for playoff ad inventory. To this point, about 85-95 percent of ad slots have already been sold at a percentage rate higher than last season. There is simply no disputing the popularity that the NBA postseason has.
“The NBA playoffs are still a marquee event that attracts a loyal and hard to reach demographic,” says Jeff Gagne, SVP, strategic investment at Havas Media, “and most advertisers won’t shy away because the regular season was down.”
As per media buyers, the price for 30-seconds of ad space during a first-round game is on average between $50-60K for ESPN and TNT, and up to $75-85K for ABC.
“We’re pacing ahead of last year,” says Jim Minnich, VP, revenue & yield management, Disney Advertising Sales, referring to ESPN and ABC, which are sold jointly under the Disney umbrella. “Games 1, 3 and 4 of the Western Conference finals are already sold out.”
According to regular season numbers, ABC was down 3% in viewers from last season, while TNT saw a 13% decrease. Meanwhile, ESPN numbers remained consistent.
“Ratings in the regular season mean nothing in the playoffs,” said Zenith’s NeilVendetti. “Relative to whatever other TV programming is on during the playoffs, the NBA will get the biggest audiences of anything on TV.”