NBCUniversal scores $1.2B in ad sales for Paris Olympics

Comcast’s NBCUniversal is boasting advertising wins across linear and streaming for the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics and Paralympics, disclosing that it’s achieved $1.2 billion in ad sales commitments for the Games.

NBCU President of Olympic and Paralympic Partnerships Dan Lovinger shared the sales update during a conference call Tuesday, where he said over $350 million of the total is from new advertisers. What’s more, he said the company is approaching a new ad revenue record “with Paris 2024 on track to generate the most advertising revenue in Olympic history.”

In terms of advertiser categories showing interest in the Games, Lovinger, according to a transcript of the call, said the media company is seeing significant increases in the non-alcoholic beverages category, while CPG, financial services and retail are all up, as well as increases in the entertainment category.

NBCU has sold out of its inventory for both opening and closing ceremonies on both linear and digital platforms for the Paris games, which kick off July 26, with digital advertising revenue already setting a record for the Olympics.

It’s also sold out of what it’s calling “prime pods,” which feature only one 60-second spot during a 30-minute segment on each of the 13 evenings of primetime coverage – all of which were taken by five yet-to-be-disclosed “Olympic ring holder” sponsors.

For the 2024 Olympics, NBCU is broadcasting coverage live on NBC as well as a Spanish-language broadcast on Telemundo. And notably, all Olympic coverage and events will be available to stream live and on-demand on NBCU’s Peacock streaming service, alongside bespoke programming around the event exclusively for the SVOD. On Peacock the product team has also teed up a bevy of user experience enhancements and product capabilities debuting for the Games, to make viewing and navigating the wide-ranging event as easy and engaging as possible. It’s also introduced commerce and ad capabilities, with new formats and a feature called Virtual Concessions that encourages viewers to order last-minute food, beverages or other items from last-mile delivery services before settling in for a long viewing session.

NBCU took learnings from the Tokyo and Beijing Olympics and Lovinger emphasized a strong user experience on Peacock.

“It’s going to allow them to not just watch live, but to add things that they wan to their ‘my stuff’ folder, to be able to come back and watch events as they see fit,” he said.

He also said success on Peacock has meant NBCU can enable more ad inventory.

“Digital advertisers will not only have access to all live streaming and simulcast events, but their ads will also flow through our host feeds, our interactive Watch with Alex Cooper experience, the Gold Zone, and all the various ad innovations and formats we have on Peacock,” Lovinger said.

With Peacock increasing the size of its subscriber base since the last Olympic games, “we’re now at a place where Peacock is a scalable opportunity in and of itself,” he commented. Peacock had 31 million subscribers as of the end of 2023.

He noted that similar to past Olympic Games, NBCU expects Paris Olympics linear coverage “to be larger than all other broadcast and major cable audiences combined.”

Olympic primetime sponsorships “sold out almost immediately” and NBCU has sold out nearly 95% of its custom primetime marketing integrations, he added. The company also wants to make it easier to buy advertising including, as previously announced, for the first time making ad inventory for the Olympics available for buying programmatically through a partnership with The Trade Desk.