Fox to offer MySpace slots for Super Bowl ads

MarketWatch

News Corp.’s Fox Sports is expected Wednesday to announce an agreement with
corporate sibling MySpace and the National Football League that will give Super
Bowl TV advertisers a larger Web presence as well during the game, according to
a media report. The announcement from the News Corp. unit comes just ahead of
next week’s network “upfront” market, when some $9 billion in ad
money is committed for the following television season, The Wall Street Journal
reported in its online edition.

Fox, which
will broadcast Super Bowl XLII on Feb. 3, and MySpace hope to stand out by
promising extras, such as on-air promotions of the site during the game, the
Journal said.

Advertisers
will be able to offer customers “calls to action” after their spots
run online, with coupons or links to their own sites, for instance, according
to the report.
For example, a studio
advertising a movie would be able to show an extended trailer, or fans would
also be able to place ads they like on their personal MySpace pages, The
Journal said.
Watching Super Bowl ads –
there are typically about 60 30-second spots during a broadcast has become an
online sport itself, with a long list of online polls and viewing sites, The
Journal said.

A comScore
survey of 1,000 Americans who watched this year’s game found 7% of them went
online specifically to watch the ads, The Journal said.
This winter, MySpace had 126,000 unique
viewers of the game’s ads for the week ending Feb. 11, according to comScore,
The Journal said.

During the
past few years, a slew of Web companies have tried to get a piece of the Super
Bowl’s Web presence, including Time Warner Inc.’s AOL and Google Inc. claimed
nearly triple MySpace’s unique viewers last time around, The Journal said.

While lots
of companies operate Super Bowl ad sites, including the NFL, the Fox Sports
marks the biggest move yet by a network to try to leverage its Internet ties to
buyers who are increasingly demanding a Web component in their marketing plans,
The Journal said.

The idea
is to provide some extra bait for advertisers, who face an initial asking price
of $2.7 million for a 30-second spot for next year’s Super Bowl, The Journal
said, citing an unnamed person familiar with the industry. That’s up roughly
$100,000 from the peak rates from last year, according to the report.