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Wednesday
Oct272010

Advertisers Taking Gamble on World Series

Photo Courtesy - Major League Baseball(NEW YORK) -- With the elimination of the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies in the league championship series last week, baseball fans and advertisers alike were surprised to see two underdog teams still standing.

Advertisers and Fox, which will carry the World Series, must hope the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers play captivating baseball, since their primary fan bases are only the sixth and fifth largest television viewing markets, with secondary markets in Sacramento, Calif., and Austin, Texas.

The top six markets are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas-Ft. Worth and the San Francisco Bay Area, according to the Nielsen Company.

"Despite not having two big-market teams on the calendar, people will watch this," said Brian Steinberg, television editor with Ad Age.  "Live sports are more attractive to advertisers these days than sitcoms and dramas."

The Nielsen Company does not forecast figures for viewer audiences, and television analysts will not be sure what the actual ratings will be until the series takes place.

Buying ad time ahead of a sporting event can be somewhat of a gamble.  Fox sold all its advertising spots for games one to five in early October, before the either league championship series had finished.  The average cost of a 30-second television spot for the World Series is around $450,000, more than Sunday Night Football's average estimate of $415,000, according to Steinberg.

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