The Super Bowl is more than just a football game.
Just ask the companies that dish out big bucks to land a 30-second spot during commercial breaks.
According to MSNBC.com, The Associated Press is reporting that it will run companies $3.5-4 million for 30 seconds of ad time. Compare that to 20 years ago, when a 30-second Super Bowl ad cost less than $1 million.
"It’s a huge investment [for marketers], but it’s also one of the best ways to maximize their time” in front of an audience, said Brian Steinberg, television editor for Advertising Age. "Fewer TV properties have that reach thanks to DVR and the Web. The Super Bowl is increasing, rather than losing, its audience."
Last year, more than 111 million Americans tuned in to watch the Green Bay Packers topple the Pittsburgh Steelers. That number is expected to grow this year, as is the length and cost of commercials.
NBC said last week that all spots during the game are already sold out while a few pregame spots remain available. MSNBC predicts more lengthier commercials this year, such as the Chrysler "Imported From Detroit" ad last year featuring Eminem.