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Super Bowl ad stats: Advertising accounted for 28% of TV coverage

Advertising accounted for 28% of Super Bowl viewing this year, as competition and pricing for a TV commercial at the high profile sports event gets more intense.

Americans for Responsible Advertising (AFRA) recorded and analyzed NBC's telecast of the National Football League's (NFL's) 2015 championship game i.e., the 2015 Super Bowl. This year's game was played in Phoenix, Arizona on February 1st.

The New England Patriots won the game beating the Seattle Seahawks 28 to 24. Like all NFL games, this one was played in four fifteen-minute quarters.

Super Bowl games are annual celebrations of success by the NFL, opportunities for advertisers to reach more than 100 million viewers, and opportunities for advertising agencies to trot out their newest and best commercials. Many people watch Super Bowls, in part, to see the new commercials.

There were 127 commercials and 125 plays during this year's Super Bowl. In the aggregate, the commercials accounted for 28% of the telecast.

During regular-season NFL games there are 150 or more commercials and they account for 26% to 29% of the telecasts.

Most of the commercials shown during this year's Super Bowl seemed designed to show the NFL's more sensitive and socially responsible side.

The League's "Play 60" ad, the Coca-Cola Internet ad, and the Always "Like-a-Girl" ad are examples that come to mind. The Poor Taste award, on the other hand, must surely go to the Nissan little blue pill ad.

According to Advertising Age magazine the average price of a 30-second TV commercial during this year's Super Bowl was a record $4.5 million and there were rumors that advertisers were required to commit to post Super Bowl advertising expenditures if they wanted to have their commercials shown during this year's Super Bowl telecast.

The telecast, however, measured from its beginning (6:00pm) until the end of the game, lasted four hours and six minutes.

Four hours and six minutes is considerably longer than regular-season NFL telecasts. These averaged about three hours and forty minutes in 2014. (In the 1980s and 1990s it was rare for a NFL telecast to last more than three hours but the telecasts have been getting longer.) It is not surprising that regular season NFL games are shorter than Super Bowl games.

Ticket prices for this year's game also set a record. The lowest price on ticket reseller's Stub Hub website on the morning of the game was $7,141 which was about seven times the face value of the ticket. It seems that Super Bowl games for sure and perhaps other NFL games as well have become corporate events.

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