CBS has confirmed its plan to sell all national ad spots for next year’s Super Bowl as a package deal with its corresponding stream’s ad units during the game. CBS will not allow advertisers to opt out of the latter, which are conventionally sold separately from the broadcast units. As a result, all national ads that plays during the game will be live-streamed as well.
According to NBC, over 1.3 million people watched this year’s Super Bowl via its streaming service, a number that will most likely increase next year as U.S. viewers continue to adopt OTT streaming services, but still pales in comparison to the over 114 million viewers who watched it on TV. Therefore, it is understandable that only 18 of more than 70 Super Bowl advertisers opted to put their commercials in the live-stream this year, and NBC allegedly had some difficulty selling all of its separate streaming inventory, according to an AdAge report.
CBS’s decision may set an important precedent and become common. “We expect bundling of broadcast and streaming ad sales to catch on, at least for the sports events that draw sizeable live audiences that are the most important and attractive for advertisers,” says Brian Hughes, SVP, Audience Analysis Practice Lead at Magna Global. “This approach unifies the viewer experience across platforms, and simplifies both the sales process and the viewership metrics which, for these events, are based on reach, not targeting.”