TV Executives Cite Advertising Strength as NBC’s Super Bowl Slots Fill Up
Television executives from Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)’s NBC Universal, CBS Corp. (CBS) and Discovery Communications Inc. (DISCA) said advertising remains strong in the second half of 2011, bucking concern that the economy may be slowing.
NBC Universal has already sold out most of the advertising for the National Football League’s Super Bowl in February, Stephen Burke, the unit’s president and chief executive officer, said today at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference in Beverly Hills, California.
Burke’s optimism was echoed at the same event by Leslie Moonves, CEO of New York-based CBS, and Bradley Singer, chief financial officer of Discovery, who both said they see no slowdown. While advertising will make up a smaller mix of revenue in the future, CBS is seeing strength across local and national TV, radio and its billboard division, Moonves said.
“I know people are saying it should be slowing down,” Moonves said. “I know the economy is suffering right now. I think smart guys realize the way to cut back is not by reducing advertising.”
The so-called scatter market for spot TV advertising buys is strong, Moonves said. “I don’t see anything, nor do I expect anything, that’s going to make it slow down in the first quarter” of 2012.
Advertising spots for the Super Bowl are going for about $3.5 million, NBC’s Burke said.
Comcast, the Philadelphia-based cable operator that controls NBC Universal, rose 14 cents to $21.98 today in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. Discovery, based in Silver Spring, Maryland, added 81 cents to $39.22. CBS gained 37 cents to $23.36 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.
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