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NBCU says it’s passed $1bn in ad commitments for 2020 Olympics

NBCUniversal (NBCU) has obtained more than $1bn national advertising commitments for the 2020 Olympics and expects to surpass the $1.2bn in national ad revenue it earned from the prior summer games.

The network, which owns Olympics distribution rights in the US through 2032, has been pitching advertisers a cross-platform approach to the 2020 Games. 

Dan Lovinger, executive vice-president of ad sales at NBC Sports, further outlined the strategy on a press call Tuesday (10 December) to “democratize the process” and introduce a single CPM option advertisers.

“What we’ve created is a single audience guarantee, whether the viewer is appearing on a linear platform or a digital platform,” said Lovinger. “Our advertisers toggle back and forth so that we can take advantage of spikes in viewership in any one place.

“We don’t really delineate between a linear viewer and a digital viewer because quite frankly, the athletes aren’t swimming any faster, jumping any higher or doing anything different on each platform.”

NBCU is also selling Olympics inventory on demographics for the first time: adults age 18-49 and 25-54.

“Why those two demos? Because they occupy about 80% of the business done on demo, and we figured let’s walk before we run with other demos,” said Lovinger.

The network, however, won’t include Olympics inventory in OpenAP, an advanced TV consortium that pools inventory from major TV networks and lets advertisers execute audience-based buys across each network. 

“When you’re trying to deliver as we have in a 17-day time period at the kinds of dollar volumes that we are, it gets very, very complex very quickly,” said Lovinger, “and our first priority is to make sure we deliver people within the Olympics that buy the Olympics, so we feel like this is a significant improvement and change, and we’re going to see how it goes from here.”

NBCU is selling Olympics packages that range from $1m to $100m and up, which includes a sponsorship of See Her Shine, a cross-platform program spotlighting women Olympic athletes. Lovinger said the network has yet to sell See Her Shine as it’s new to the market. 

NBCU will hold an investor day for its streaming service, Peacock, on 16 January, when it will likely share details on whether it will include Olympics content on the service. 

Featured by The Drum

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