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AT&T Wireless tops biggest national TV sports advertisers

January 24, 2012 |  1:24 pm


The research firm Nielsen said Tuesday that AT&T Wireless was the biggest advertiser on national televised sports in the 12 months ended last Sept. 30, spending $423.5 million on national network and cable TV ads.

In its report "State of the Media: 2011 Year in Sports,"Nielsen said the wireless company's national TV ad spending was more than twice that spent by the second-place advertiser, Bud Light, the Anheuser-Busch beer that spent $210.2 million.

Wireless phone companies, in fact, accounted for three of the seven largest national TV sports advertisers. Verizon Wireless was third on Nielsen's list at $207.7 million and Sprint Wireless was seventh at $147.4 million.

The report did not break down ad spending by sport, but it did say overall national TV sports advertising climbed 5.8% in the year to $10.9 billion.

The increase was slightly above the 5% increase in the amount of live national TV sports content that was available on network and cable in the 12-month period, which totaled 42,500 hours, Nielsen said.

The other top advertisers: McDonald's, DirecTV, Geico, Southwest Airlines, State Farm Insurance and Miller Lite beer.

-- Jim Peltz

Photo: A television camera above the field in St. Louis before the NFL's St. Louis Rams played the Washington Redskins on Sept. 26, 2010. Credit: Jeff Roberson/Associated Press