An article from AdAge.com discusses how the NBA postponing their season and the NCAA canceling much of their season and tournaments, including all of March Madness, much of the network advertisements are seeing declines on sports channels that are now mainly showing re-runs or older sports highlights.
The ads seeing the highest impressions are from airs during cable dramas such as ‘Law and Order: Special Victims Unit’ and ‘NCIS’ delivered over a billion ad impressions, across over 18 hours of advertising over the weekend. This is the first time that has happened in nearly two decades. Broadcast-network delivery of ad impressions went from 15 percent down to 11 percent. Big money still went to sports though, and while basketball reruns on sports networks didn’t draw the most eyeballs, they did still result in more estimated TV ad spend than anything else on TV over the weekend.
College basketball topped the list in terms of estimated spend at $26.1 million. Food shows such as “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” had over 300 minutes of ads and delivered almost 465 million TV ad impressions. Airlines and cruise lines pulled their ads off the air amidst travel bans, online booking sites continued to spend, and health insurance companies are switching to creative coronavirus-awareness campaigns. While the big networks are bringing in the higher ad spends, it’s the cable news and lifestyle networks, such as HGTV, and family-friendly networks, like Nickelodeon, that are delivering more reach for the dollar right now.
The disruption of live sports is having a huge impact on brands that depend on college sports programming for massive reach. These are the marketer categories and brands that heavily bankrolled NCAA broadcasts last year: Vehicles: Automakers (est. $155 million), Insurance: Auto & General (est. $99.1 million), Electronics & Communications: Wireless (est. $78.1 million), Restaurants: Quick Serve (est. $58.3 million), Electronics & Communications (est. $49.2 million), AT&T Wireless (est. $68 million), Buick (est. $42.5 million), Geico (est. $36.4 million), Capital One Credit Card (est. $31.6 million), Progressive (est. $27.9 million).