NBC Is Hoping To Monopolize On Game 7 With Increased Revenue From Last Minute Ad Sales


The Stanley Cup Finals has not seen a Game 7 since 2011 and because of that NBC is hoping to monopolize on this new chance for ad sales. NBC hopes to draw upwards of 8 million viewers for tonight’s game as Boston hosts its first ever Game 7 (the hosting team historically has a winning percentage of .750). Because of this media buyers have stated NBC is asking north of $200,000 per 30-second ad.

For most playoff series, the general rule is to only sell ads through game 5. That way, no matter what, networks like NBC will be able to break even, and if it so happens that the series goes into games 6 and 7, all that money is gravy. The NBC Sports ad sales department has been nothing less than hectic after the Bruins won Game 6 Sunday night in St. Louis setting up a Game 7 final in Boston tonight at 8 PM EST.

According to NBC, they will continue to actively sell right up until the 8 PM puck drop. Only 25% of Game 7 ad sales inventory is pre-sold and most often to traditional NHL sponsors. 75% remains open for last minute deals. However, NBC does expect to reap an eight-figure profit from Game 7.

“We will monetize the heck out of this Game 7,” stated Dan Lovinger, NBC Sports Exec VP/Ad Sales. “We haven’t had a Game 7 since 2011, and the advertising community is excited to be part of it.”

The network will also use Game 6 and 7 inventories to provide “make-goods” which are standard advertising credits to be used by brands when another show had low ratings previously on their schedule.

However, according to a rival network, Game 7’s do not bring in as much revenue as one would think. NBC, like other sports networks, is conscious not to go after longtime advertisers just because there happens to be a Game 7.


And this year, the Stanley Cup playoffs have seen a little growth in viewership (TV and Streaming) as compared to last years 1.44 million viewers. Overall, the Stanley Cup has averaged 4.89 million viewers, which is a 1% decrease from last years Game 5 Golden Knights-Capitals series. Through the first six title games, this year NBC and NBCSN have been averaging 4.76 million viewers along with a 2.7 household rating. Digital and streaming deliveries have added 129,000 viewers per game.

Since NBC took over the Stanley Cup playoff rights before the 2005–2006 season, there have been three Game 7’s. The Hurricanes-Oilers saw 5.29 viewers on a Monday night in 2006, while the Penguins-Red Wings drew 7.99 million viewers on a Wednesday night.

According to Nielsen live-same-day data, the most recent Game 7 in 2011 brought in 8.54 million viewers on a Wednesday night and a 4.8 household rating making it the 4th most-watched Stanley Cup finals of all time and the most-watched NHL game in 38 years. Leading up to tonight’s game, advertisers seem to be justifying their extra ad spend because the last Game 7 also featured Boston (versus Canucks).

Additionally, Boston is not only the nation’s ninth largest media market but the Bruins have also played in six of the ten most viewed Stanley Cup Final broadcasts of all time.

According to iSpot.tv, the top-spending advertisers in this year’s Stanley Cup Final should include: Volkswagen, Honda, Lexus, Geico, Discover Card, Google, iPhone, Universal Pictures (“The Secret Life of Pets 2,” “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw”), Subway, Progressive, Bridgestone and Coors Light.

So, what will the final numbers look like and will NBC make that eight-figure revenue they are hoping for — stay tuned.

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