NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Comcast (CMCSA) is forecasting that advertising sales for the 2016 Rio Olympics will exceed $1 billion, as the advertising gold rush begins to kickoff ahead of next year's summer games. NBC pulled in around $1.3 billion in advertising sales for London's 2012 Olympics, setting a new record and dwarfing the $850 million dollars paid by advertisers for its Beijing coverage.
But next year's games may well push the bar even higher. NBC Sports, which will carry coverage of the sporting events, has lined up commitments from multiple advertisers already that include Nike (NKE), Coca-Cola (KO), Kellogg's (K), United Airlines (UAL), BMW (BMW.F) and Procter & Gamble (PG).
Rio de Janeiro's time zone is favorable for large scale viewership, clocking in one hour ahead of New York's Eastern Standard time. NBC expects around 20 million viewers to tune in each day for the live events broadcasts, which include the addition of golf and rugby in the 2016 lineup. The Summer Olympics has been a much easier sell for NBC than the Superbowl, because advertisers have the opportunity to run ads multiple times and can also buy the right to use the Olympic trademark in their own advertising campaigns.
There has been particularly strong interest from automakers, according to the latest reports, as well as from fast food restaurants and movie studios. Digital ad sales are also seeing a strong uptick. NBC Universal suggested it will not be able to meet the demand for ad-roll on its video streaming of events.
NBC will launch promotional advertisements for the Summer Olympics beginning Wednesday across its networks, a move to generate excitement among viewers one-year in advance of the event. The company will also be bombarding social media, using the hashtag #RoadToRio. The Summer Olympic games will begin in Brazil next August. NBC Universal signed a deal last year to carry coverage of the Olympic events through 2032.