CBS likely broke even or lost money — but networks usually do, says SNL Kagan
CBS earned an estimated $240 million in ad revenue for Super Bowl XLVII, which would be a new record, the research firm SNL Kagan said Thursday.
The network likely broke even or lost money because it paid roughly $220 million for the rights to air the game, and paid for production costs, analyst Deana Myers told TheWrap. But networks usually break even or lose money on the game itself, and make money on pre- and post-game programs, she said.
CBS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Last year, NBC scored an estimated $220 million in ad revenues, Myers said. The game rotates between Fox, NBC and CBS.
Though this year's Super Bowl was only the third-highest program in U.S. TV history — behind the previous two Super Bowls — that isn't likely to result in lower ad rates for next year's game, Myers said. That's because live event programming has become more important to networks as more viewers watch scripted shows on DVR.
The Super Bowl is also "the only event where you really see widespread ad-watching," she said.
It's unclear whether the power outage that delayed the game for 34 minutes in the second half helped or hurt CBS. Ratings were down in the second half, but that may have been because the Baltimore Ravens led by a lopsided score going into halftime. On the other hand, the 49ers mounted a big comeback after the blackout, which kept many viewers pinned to their seats to the end.
"I think it's an argument there," said Myers.
An estimated 108.4 million people watched the game, for which advertisers paid an average of $3.8 million per 30-second ad, according to the research firm.