Four all-white co-hosts of the Fox News program Outnumbered expressed outrage that National Football League players might kneel at Super Bowl LII to protest systemic racism in America.
Ads are going for slightly more than $5 million per 30-second spot.
Fox, which aired the Super Bowl previous year, reaped $500 million in ad sales from the game, selling 30-second spot for about $5 million each.
So what if such protests - namely kneeling - were to surface at the Super Bowl? The average game was viewed by 1.6 million fewer people than tuned in previous year.
"I don't [fast forward] the whole thing like that, just the start", Francis said.
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"Most of the seats in most of the stadiums have been sold, but you go to Atlanta, where they just opened up a new stadium".
For NBC, this poses a question: Do you show kneeling players during the Anthem and risk your own viewership; or, do you keep the focus on Pink in order to steer clear of controversy? The Twin Cities last played host to the Big Game 26 years ago, when Washington beat Buffalo 37-24 at the Metrodome in Super Bowl XXVI.
The day's take is expected to be around $500 million, Lovinger said during a conference call on Thursday.
Lovinger said that advertiser demand has also been strong for NBC's telecasts of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, from February 9 to 25.
Ratings for live sports, including the Olympics and pro football, have declined in an era when viewers have so many choices for entertainment, from Snapchat to YouTube. But the viewers watching NBC's telecasts on streaming devices will be figured into advertising deals as well, as the network has seen rapid growth of online viewing in recent Olympics.