NBC says ad space for Sunday night's Pro Bowl has pushed above $47 for a 30-second spots as the league's All-Star game has drawn closer.
"The phones are definitely starting to ring in our sales offices," said Roger McInerny, the NBC's Director of Pro Bowl Ad Sales. "Which is good. For a few weeks we were worried that there was a problem with our line. But Verizon came out and checked on it and everything was fine. Turns out it was just that no one was calling."
But in recent days, the 70-person Pro Bowl ad sales force has sold, or is close to selling, three spots.
"We've got Ken's Tires, with four locations on the Kamehameha Highway, locked in for a 30-second spot, as well as The House of Carpet at the Route 63-Lunalilo Freeway exit," said McInerny. "And the final one we've got on the line is the Hawaii Tourism Authority, but they're still saying they're not sure if they want their name associated with the Pro Bowl."
The two sales are a 100-percent increase over last year's mark, when 30-second spots were selling for just $19.99.
"Last year was rough," said McInerny. "I bought the only ad. It ran in the first quarter and it was just a video of me telling people that there was still ad space available and that they should call and they could get their ad on later in the game. Unfortunately, no one called."
Ticket sales for the game itself have also ticked up in recent days, claims John Mandy, Vice President of Pro Bowl Ticket Sales.
"We always see demand go up as the game gets closer," said Mandy. "Mainly from people who want to come to the game to see with their own eyes if we still give out a trophy that looks like a big, silver vagina. And we do. We definitely do."