Super Bowl LI = Ad/Play Ratio

The NFL had some trouble gaining viewership for the 2016-17 season. One of the main competitors for airtime was the presidential debate.

With viewership declining this season to 111.3 million viewers (up from 111.8 million last year), the NFL has had to make some changes.

The increase in ads this year was evident. 130 ads were shown during the game. This was an increase from last year (due to overtime).

FOX made an extra $20-million dollars due to the added time slots.

Let’s take a look at some stats:

Chart provided by Supplement Reviews

Holy cow! Let’s break down that pie chart.

The ball was in play for 16m 14s.

This is above normal due to overtime. The average time the ball is in play comes out to about 11 minutes.


Commercials dominate a good chunk of airtime. The average ad costs each company $5 million dollars per 30-second spot.

Chart provided by Supplement Reviews

There were 33 commercial breaks. Leaving a total of $500 million dollars in advertising revenue. With over 130 advertisements that aired, that used up over an hour of time.

Everything Else:

Replays, coming on and off the field, penalties, etc. These make up the “everything else” category.

With the breaks in the game, advertisers are allowed to fill that time with ads. The construction of the sport relates to the amount of ads we see.