PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., cost $1.6 billion to build before it opened in 2010. In the decade leading up to Super Bowl XLVII, which the stadium is hosting in February, Super Bowl commercials have brought in enough to cover those costs and still have $400 million left over.
According to Kantar Media, Super Bowl advertisers have spent $2 billion on their spots over the past 10 years. The cost of one 30-second ad has jumped from $3 million in 2009 to $4 million last year, with annual Super Bowl ad revenue climbing to $292 million from $213 million during that span.
Wait, wasn't there a recession in there somewhere? Well, yes, but the NFL managed to confine it to the 2010 Super Bowl, when 30-second ads fetched only $2.97 million but still managed to bring in more than $205 million after sponsors bought a Super Bowl record 104 ads.
There have been at least 45 minutes of ads shown during every Super Bowl broadcast since 2008. During last year's game, they clocked in at nearly 52 minutes with some help from a brief blackout in the New Orleans Superdome. Meanwhile, 60-second ads have multiplied from just 10 in 2011 to 15 in 2012 and last year, making up 19% and 15% of all ads, respectively.
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This year, Super Bowl XLVIII broadcaster Fox has sold out its inventory of commercial time for about $4 million per 30-second spot. It's not really such a tough sell, since there isn't any other single event that comes close to drawing the Super Bowl's 108.7 million average U.S. viewers or 164.1 million total U.S. audience. Last year's World Series went to four games, but its $247.6 million in ad sales still trailed the Super Bowl. Even the three games of NCAA Men's Basketball's Final Four came up short at $198.5 million in ad sales.
As a result, the companies that buy Super Bowl ads regularly tend to spend big just to claim as much of that audience's time as they can. We went through Kantar Media's statistics and found the five biggest Super Bowl ad buyers of the past five years. There are some surprises in there, but most parted with big money to be considered the Super Bowl's usual suspects: