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Fox’s new ad sales chief praises Tom Brady, Super Bowl LIX in TV in advance




Fox's new ad sales chief praises Tom Brady, Super Bowl LIX in TV in advance

Fox Corp. has downsized since selling most of its cable and studio assets to Walt Disney Co. in 2019. sold, but the new head of advertising sales is keen to take on bigger rivals.

Fox is at the cusp of the industry’s annual upfront market with the 2025 Super Bowl telecast and football great Tom Brady among its offerings. Brady is expected to begin a long-awaited stint as announcer for Fox’s NFL season in the fall, and Fox is already “embroiled” in discussions about Super Bowl advertising, says Jeff Collins, who was named president of advertising sales. year, replacing veteran Marianne Gambelli.

He does not believe that a media company has to be a giant to win in today’s market.

“A lot of the competition over the last four or five years has been looking to get bigger at all costs,” he said during an interview, referring to a series of mergers and acquisitions in the sector, such as the combination of Discovery and Warner or Amazon’s purchase of MGM. Fox, he says, “has a very different story, focusing on where we can be best in class.”

Collins has overseen ad sales at Fox News Media in recent years and has gained traction by encouraging sponsors to try new concepts and categories, including a broader range of lifestyle programming. Fox News has added more of that content to its offerings as more mainstream advertisers grow wary of single-host opinion shows amid a polarizing era for the American consumer.

Collins still faces a complex market. In 2024, Netflix and Amazon will compete directly for the advertising dollars that once went directly to traditional linear TV. Amazon’s decision to launch an ad-supported version of Prime Video in 2024 threatens to add a flood of new inventory to the mix – which media buyers believe could result in a weakening of prices across the market.

Fox, Collins says, plans to push back on this pressure. The company can reach a significant audience through its broadcast network, sports portfolio, Fox News viewers or its Tubi streaming hub, noting that the audience for each item is different than the other.

The portfolio is “desirable for advertisers because the audiences are incredibly complementary. The ribbon-cutting audience on Tubi is very different from the live audience of Fox News, which is different from the family and multicultural viewing of Fox Entertainment, which is different from sports fans,” he notes.

Unlike some bigger rivals, he says, Fox doesn’t offer broader advertising packages across its portfolio, but is ready to help those who do want to test such concepts. “You really get a greater reach” through Fox media assets, he says, because each channel’s viewership is different.

He expects that Super Bowl LIX, scheduled to air from New Orleans on February 9, 2025, will help Fox earn dollars “in all the major categories, even auto, technology and finance, where they have been a little weak over the last year.” CBS’s 2024 broadcast of the Big Game set new viewership records, and “there’s a lot of momentum,” Collins says, adding that “we’ve never had the Super Bowl in this good format before.”

He declined to specify the price Fox was charging for a 30-second ad during the event. CBS was asking between $6.5 million and $7 million for such inventory in this year’s game. The new record audience and recent demand could prompt Fox to test well above $7.5 million.