Published: February 8, 2023

Fox Eyes Nearly $600 Million in Super Bowl Sunday Ad Revenue

Fox Eyes Nearly $600 Million in Super Bowl Sunday Ad Revenue And how the company avoided the soft TV ad marketFox recorded record revenues for Super Bowl 57

Fox is scoring big with Super Bowl 57.

In an earnings call today, executive chair and CEO Lachlan Murdoch announced the company was taking in nearly $600 million in revenue from the upcoming Feb. 12 matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles.

“The money came in late, so we had some nervous moments,” Murdoch explained. “We were right, just shy of gross $600 million of revenue next Sunday. We are sold out.”

For comparison, NBCU’s revenue for the 2022 Super Bowl Sunday, which also included coverage of the Olympics in Beijing, was expected to reach $500 million. At the time, it was “the largest day in NBCU’s history,” according to Dan Lovinger, the now-president of ad sales and partnerships for NBC Sports Group.

Mark Evans, evp of ad sales for Fox Sports, recently told Adweek that the company’s nervousness came down to the “implosion” of the crypto category. Though crypto and FTX’s collapse led to some “atypical” situations, according to Evans, the company officially announced its Super Bowl ad inventory sellout on Monday, Feb. 6.

The company sold the majority of 30-second spots sold in the mid-to-high $6 million range, with multiple 30-second spots going for north of $7 million.

“If you back out of the Super Bowl, we are still up in national advertising revenue,” Murdoch said on the call. “And so I think that again bodes to the strength of our brands and to the power of Fox.”

For months, there’s been talk of a soft ad market, with Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav saying at an RBC conference last November that things were “weaker than it was during Covid.” But Murdoch doesn’t see that for Fox.

“We’re seeing advertising being fluid and money coming in late. So it is different. It’s a different environment than we were in a year ago or even a couple quarters ago, but at the end of the day, we’re still hitting our goals and achieving our revenue targets,” Murdoch said.

What soft ad market?

In terms of avoiding the soft ad market, the executive chair and CEO credits the strength of Fox’s portfolio. 

“Our relative strength in advertising is not indicative of the whole marketplace,” Murdoch said. “But it’s definitely indicative of our brands and our ability to achieve our revenue goals.”

The company reported total quarterly revenues of $4.61 billion, a 4% increase from the $4.44 billion reported in the prior year’s quarter.

Advertising revenues increased 4% thanks to the FIFA Men’s World Cup, strong NFL results for Fox Sports, high political advertising revenues at Fox television stations and continued growth at Tubi, which was partially offset by the company losing Thursday Night Football.

In terms of advertising categories, Murdoch said auto was pacing up almost 30%, health was up 30%, pharmaceutical was up 45% and travel was up 60%. On the other hand, crypto and money exchanges were down a whopping 97%.

“I’m still trying to find out who’s the 3% left that’s still advertising,” Murdoch joked.

During the call, Murdoch also talked about Fox’s huge Thanksgiving weekend, which included the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving, the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team versus England on Black Friday, No. 2 Michigan and No. 3 Ohio State squaring off on Saturday and the NFL window on Sunday, which pulled in 98 million viewers.

According to Murdoch, Fox’s matchup of the Dallas Cowboys vs. the New York Giants was the “most-watched regular season game ever on any network,” earning 42 million viewers alone.

The company earned just shy of $250 million over the long weekend.

Tubi or not Tubi

Not to be ignored, Tubi continued to post gains for the company.

The AVOD’s ad revenue grew by 25% over last year, reaching more than $200 million, with increases in CPM (cost-per-thousand-viewers reached) and engagement. Tubi also had its highest quarterly viewership in the fiscal second quarter, with total viewing time (TVT) up 41% year over year and December being the service’s highest TVT month ever.

Though Fox didn’t announce specific viewer counts, Tubi founder and CEO Farhad Massoudi previously told Adweek that the service grew to 51 million monthly active users early in 2022.

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