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WUTV, local Fox affiliate, already is a Super Bowl winner

The kickoff of the Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons isn’t until Sunday but there already is one winner: WUTV.

Nick Magnini, the general manager of the local station affiliated with Fox, declined to give any figures for advertising revenue for the game. But according to sources, the game most likely is about a $500,000 local pay day for the station owned by Sinclair Broadcasting.

And it could have been even higher if a recent decision by the Canadian Radio-television and TeleCommunications Commission (CRTC) – which regulates the broadcast industry – had been made sooner to require Canadian cable to carry the Fox feed of the Super Bowl so its viewers could see the must-see American commercials.

The NFL and CTV are angry at the CRTC decision since. If the Canadian decision had been finalized months ago, WUTV likely would have been able to sell advertising from clients across the border.

That didn’t happen.

“The Super Bowl is sold out 90 days in advance,” explained Magnini. “The ruling came so late that we might get one Canadian ad. I’m not sure.”

According to sources, WUTV is believed to be able to get as much as $25,000 for a 30-second commercial during the game. That would be about a 15 percent spike from what it most likely received three years ago when it last had the Super Bowl. Nationally, a 30-second spot reportedly is going for around $5 million.

Since WUTV gets 13 spots during the game, that adds up to $325,000. The primary buyers of the ads during the game are expected to be car dealers and health care companies, Magnini said.

In addition, WUTV gets about 50 spots during the six and a half-hour pregame show with the price advertisers pay rising the closer it is to kickoff.

According to sources, the local cost of a 30-second commercial from noon to 4 p.m. might be $2,000 and the cost may go up to as high $8,000 a spot from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. An hour program from NFL Films, "The Road to the Super Bowl," also airs at 11 a.m.

To put the ad cost in perspective, a 30-second commercial on the highest-rated local Fox prime time programs on WUTV, “Empire” and “Lethal Weapon,” is believed to cost between $1,300 and $1,400 for the seven spots WUTV gets to sell during the hour programs.

Though Magnini wouldn’t reveal any figures, he conceded that he believes the station will have record revenue for a single day.

“If you want to receive a massive audience, you have one choice once a year,” he said. “And that’s the Super Bowl.”

“It doesn’t even matter who is playing,” he added. “It is more than sporting event; it is a cultural event.”

The game is expected to get a local rating of 50 or above. Denver’s victory over Carolina in last year’s Super Bowl had a 56.4 rating on WIVB-TV, the local CBS affiliate.


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