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The $3.5 million cost for 30 seconds indicates the premium value placed on the game by sponsors. In contrast, a 30-second spot on Two and a Half Men, the most-watched situation comedy on U.S. television and broadcast on CBS, costs an average $294,000, according to Nielsen and Horizon Media.

NBC Sports also says that it sold out the advertising inventory for the six-hour pregame show, hosted by Costas. Prices for 30-second spots on the pregame show range from $75,000 in the early afternoon to $2 million close to kickoff.

Costas noted in a conference call last week that he hosted his first Super Bowl pregame in 1986 when it was two hours. But he didn’t think he’d run out of things to say in the longer format. “It’s a Super Bowl,” said Costas. “There’s a six-hour pregame. I’ll try to do my best.”

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