Are you ready for some foootbaaaaaallll… CPM volatility insights?!!? With the new NFL season starting to take over the hearts and minds of Americans from sea to shining sea, the DataSQAD thought it would be interesting to look back at the last 5 years of NFL upfront broadcasting CPM trends.

Coming into the 2017, all eyes are on the transitioning viewing habits of fans as they cycle from device to device to catch their favorite teams on the gridiron. Advertisers are hoping that improving ratings from last season signal a resurgence of TV viewers of all ages.

Network Volatility Reports


Demo Volatility Reports

Observations & Insights from the Data SQAD:

  • Average Household CPMs during the NFL season on CBS spiked 7% from 2015 to 2016.
  • ESPN crushed it with a 11% increase in average Household CPMs from 2015 to 2016 during the NFL season.
  • It’s been a steady climb for Household ad values during Fox Network’s NFL season since 2012… increasing 45% through 2016.
  • Chasing Adults 25-54… CBS saw the biggest CPM game-day gains of the 5 major networks broadcasting the NFL games from 2015 to 2016.
  • During the NFL season, both Fox & NBC TV networks have seen a respectable 15% CPM climb for Women 25-54 from 2012 to 2016.
  • From 2012 to 2016, ESPN saw CPMs for Women 25-54 drop 30% during the NFL season, while the NFL Network had gains of 60%.
  • Almost all the networks broadcasting the NFL games saw 2015/2016 drops in CPMs for Women 25-54, except for the NFL Network.
  • Comparing 2015 to 2016, CPM rates for Men 25-54 during the NFL season on the NFL Network dropped over 11%.
  • From 2015 to 2016, NFL Network had a CPM flip-flop with an 11% drop for Men 25-54 but, nearly 20% increase for Women 25-54.
Average Household CPMs during the NFL season on CBS spiked 7% from 2015 to 2016. Networks broadcasting the NFL games had Household CPM increases from 2015 to 2016 except for NBC, which saw a 6% drop.
From 2012 to 2016, CBS crushed it with a 63% increase in CPMs for Adults 25-54 during the NFL season games.
The cost of targeting ads at Women 25-54 on the NFL Network during the regular season rose nearly 20% from 2015 to 2016.
Of the 5 major networks broadcasting the NFL games, ESPN claimed the highest 2015/2016 CPM game-day increase for Men 25-54.
From 2012 to 2016, CPMs on ESPN during the NFL games fell 30% for Women 25-54 but increased nearly the same percent for Men 25-54.


The SQAD CPM Volatility Index is calculated as a percentage differential to the previous reporting period. Within the view port range, the first data point represents ‘0’ and subsequent points are plotted based on the percentage change from the previous point. The intention of the index is to show activity within a certain timeframe against the origination point.