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How much does it cost to buy a Super Bowl commercial spot?

Big bucks for short commercials

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The Super Bowl is the most-watched sporting event in the United States and one of the most-watched sporting events in the world. The game draws about 100 million viewers annually with 98.2 million people tuning in for Super Bowl LIII in 2019.

The sheer number of people that have their eyes on the Super Bowl — whether while munching on Buffalo wings at potluck watch parties or at one of the best sports bars in America — gives a lot of businesses both big and small the opportunity to introduce themselves to huge audiences and brand themselves however they choose.

The broadcast of the big game has cycled between three television networks since 2007, switching every year between CBS, Fox and NBC. Fox will air the game in 2020, with a 30-second Super Bowl LIV ad costing a record-breaking $5.6 million, according to Nielsen Media Research. Since 2002, the cost for a 30-second commercial spot has grown from $2.3 million to now close to $6 million.

The $5.6 million ad buyers are investing in 2020 is up from the $5.25 million CBS charged for a 30-second spot during Super Bowl LIII in 2019. From 2016 to 2018, the cost for airtime steadied out at $5 million. 

Super Bowl I in 1967 was aired on both NBC and CBS, with ads costing either $37,500 or $42,500.