By Bita Fesharaki
With under 4 months left to the Rio de Janiero Olympics, NBC is about to break advertising sales records despite concerns in Brazil about the Zika virus, corruption, political turmoil, and high crime rates.
Last month, Advertising Age reported that NBC had passed the $1 billion mark in national ad sales across broadcast, cable, and digital – a milestone that was only achieved two days prior to the London Games in 2012. One possible explanation for the appeal of this year’s Olympics to US advertisers is thought to be the time difference. Rio de Janiero is only one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time, which means that the games will be broadcast at our primetime for 17 consecutive days, garnering a larger audience than the London Games.
Recent reports have put to bed earlier worries about new Olympics venues not being ready in time for the August 5th start date. Other issues, such as the danger of the Zika virus, mass corruption, impeachment against the president, and high incidence of crime; however, remain legitimate concerns and have resulted in low ticket sales. On April 4th, The Washington Post reported that only about 50% of all tickets – and 12% of Paralympics tickets – had sold.
While the organizers in Brazil focus on selling the remaining Olympics tickets, NBC’s Olympics inventory will no doubt be sold out very soon. We will all be watching as the events unfold over the next few months.