Fueling that view is word from today’s Sports Business Journal that ad inventory across MLB’s national television partners is nearly sold-out. As reported by the SBJ:
ESPN says it is “very, very well sold,” and is planning to hold back some inventory for the scatter market. And Fox Sports Net’s regional networks were 85 percent sold going into Opening Day. The networks said they didn’t expect to post these kind of numbers until well into the second quarter.
The gaudy numbers show that baseball, as with most other live sports, is not feeling the effects of an economic slowdown.
They also indicate how important the New York market is in selling ads. Ad buyers and ad sales executives unanimously believe part of the reason for the strong early sales is the fact that this year’s All-Star Game will be played during the final season at Yankee Stadium.
“These are the kinds of things that make this season special,” said Ed Erhardt, president of ESPN’s customer marketing and sales. “There is an anticipation among New York buyers, especially with the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby occurring at Yankee Stadium this year.”