No matter the score, Super Bowl LIV is already a big win for the NFL and Fox.

Advertising for the game airing Sunday from Miami sold out before the end of November at prices topping out at $5.6 million for a 30-second commercial.
The figure is a 5.5 percent increase over last year, despite a 5 percent decline in audience for last year’s game that was watched by 98.2 million viewers on CBS.

Live sports have held their own against the tide of video streaming that has pulled viewers away from traditional TV. As a result, the NFL’s relative strength to other programming is more valuable than ever to advertisers. The demand for ads for Super Bowl LIV was so strong that Fox added 2.5 minutes of commercial time to the game.

The early sellout is unusual, said Adam Schwartz, senior vice president and sports media director at the New York ad buying firm Horizon Media. He noted there are typically more than a handful of commercials available in the days leading up to the kickoff.

“This is the first year in my memory that it was pretty much done by Thanksgiving,” Schwartz said.

The strong sales mean the game is likely to top the $335.5 million in ad revenue CBS pulled in last year, according to data from Standard Media Index. NBC collected $336.6 million in 2018.

The spending bonanza comes at a fortuitous time for the NFL as it prepares for negotiations on its next television contract, expected to be completed this year after the league hammers out a new labor pact with its players.

“It’s the end of the season but in a certain respect it’s the starting gun for a frenzied set of negotiations that will get into high gear after the collective bargaining agreement is done,” said Lee Berke, president and chief executive of the firm LHB Sports, Media & Entertainment. “When it’s all said and done across all platforms and all content, I think the NFL will come close to doubling its rights payments.”

• The Chiefs and 49ers went through their final practices Friday in preparation for the Super Bowl, and both coaches said their teams have everyone healthy and available for when they step on the field at Hard Rock Stadium.

The 49ers went through a 70-minute workout at the University of Miami practice facility and everyone participated. That included running back Tevin Coleman, who had been limited in practice the previous two days because of a shoulder injury.

“He’s worked his tail off to get healthy,” San Francisco Coach Kyle Shanahan said. “He’s good to go. He’s confident.”

DOLPHINS: Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said Friday he wants to play next season at age 37, and he’ll likely be back with the Miami Dolphins.

Coach Brian Flores said last week he expected Fitzpatrick to return. Fitzpatrick started the final 12 games last year for the Dolphins, who went 5-11 but had a surprisingly strong finish under first-year coach Flores. Fitzpatrick, a 15-year veteran, ended the season saying he was undecided about whether to retire.

“I want to keep playing,” Fitzpatrick said. “Physically you have to re-evaluate everything. and mentally and emotionally. It didn’t take very long for me to know, with the season we had and how much fun I had out there. I want to keep playing.”

Fitzpatrick is under contract with Miami for $5.5 million in 2020. The Dolphins have the fifth pick in the April draft, and there’s speculation they’ll take Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Fitzpatrick said that’s fine with him.

“The best thing for me to do is to go in and be myself and show my work ethic, and hope that grows on the younger guys,” Fitzpatrick said. “I really enjoy helping younger guys. I have no problem with that.”

BILLS: The team informed county officials it will not use an early and one-time opt-out clause to terminate their lease at New Era Field. The decision was considered a formality, but in no way rules out the possibility of the Bills one day playing at new facility in downtown Buffalo.

BROWNS: Callie Brownson has been named chief of staff for new coach Kevin Stefanski, who began his NFL career in a similar job.

Brownson spent last season as a coaching intern with the Buffalo Bills. She’s the first person to have this position in Cleveland, where her role will be much like what Stefanski did while working for coach Brad Childress in 2006 with Minnesota.

Stefanski, who was with the Vikings for 13 seasons before coming to the Browns, said the experience was invaluable and paved the way for him to become a head coach eventually.

Comments are not available on this story.