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Sports – Wall Street Observer

Wall Street Observer

Wall Street Observer

CBS scores record $545 million in Super Bowl ad revenue despite low ratings

By Sheila Dang

(Reuters) – ViacomCBS’ CBS network generated a record $545 million in advertising spending during the NFL’s Super Bowl LV this past Sunday, according to preliminary estimates from research firm Kantar.

The game included a record 57 minutes of commercial time, and a 30-second ad was sold for an estimated average cost of $5.6 million, Kantar said Wednesday.

The high price and increase in commercial time helped CBS score record revenue even as the game, which saw the Tampa Bay Buccaneers prevail over the Kansas City Chiefs, got the lowest TV ratings in 15 years.

Advertisers flock to the Super Bowl because it is one of the last remaining annual events that attract millions of Americans to their TVs at the same time.

Auto companies continued to be the top category among Super Bowl advertisers, representing 14% of total spending during the game, followed by streaming services and alcoholic beverages, Kantar said.

(Reporting by Sheila Dang; editing by Jonathan Oatis)


Olympics-Toyota president disappointed by Tokyo 2020 chief Mori’s comments

TOKYO (Reuters) – The head of the world’s largest automaker joined other high-profile Tokyo Olympics sponsors on Wednesday in publicly criticising the head of the country’s Games committee for making sexist remarks.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics President Yoshiro Mori has incited anger at home and abroad with remarks last week that women talk too much, causing meetings to drag on. He has apologised but refused to resign.

“We are disappointed by the recent comments from the President of TOCOG (Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games), which are contrary to the values that Toyota respects and supports,” Toyota Motor Corp President Akio Toyoda said.

Toyota became a top level Olympic partner because it shared the values with “the spirit of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, which through sports aim to create a peaceful and an inclusive society without discrimination in which anyone can participate,”

he said in remarks read out by an executive at the company’s earnings briefing.

The executive, Operating Officer Jun Nagata, said the company issued Toyoda’s message because it had concluded that it should not keep silent.

Toyota, the maker of the RAV4 SUV crossover and Prius hybrid, is a worldwide Olympic sponsor.

It had planned to use the postponed Tokyo Games to showcase its fuel cell technology by rolling out 100 hydrogen fuel cell buses to shuttle visitors between venues. The Games organiser also planned to power the Olympic flame with hydrogen.

The Tokyo Olympics, delayed from last year by the coronavirus, are due to begin in July. For officials, the Mori controversy adds to a long list of hurdles facing the event.

Other Olympic sponsors have also expressed their views, including Asahi Holdings, the holding company of beer maker Asahi Breweries, which said it believed Mori’s comments were “disappointing and inappropriate considering the spirit of gender equality espoused” by the Games.

An executive of Eneos, Japan’s oil and metals company, said on Wednesday the company “deplored the sexist remarks from a viewpoint of respect for human rights”.

(Reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu; Additional reporting by Ritsuko Ando, Yuka Obayashi; Writing by Chris Gallagher; editing by Richard Pullin and Kim Coghill)


Ford Motor terminates electric vehicle plans with China’s Zotye

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Ford Motor has decided to terminate plans to launch electric vehicle joint ventures with China’s Zotye Automobile, the U.S. auto giant said on Thursday.

It said that China’s electric vehicle industry and government policies had undergone major changes since the agreements were signed in 2017 and 2018, prompting Ford’s decision. Ford didn’t specify which changes triggered its move.

Last week, Ford said its China joint venture with Chongqing Changan Automobile Co would start making all-electric Mustang Mach-E vehicles.

In a statement on Thursday, Ford said it would pursue a more “flexible business model in China” that would see it utilise its existing operations in the country and elsewhere, and build related business centres.

Zotye did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In 2017, during a visit by former U.S. President Donald Trump to China, Ford and Zotye said that they would invest a combined $756 million to set up a 50-50 joint venture in China to build small electric passenger vehicles.

A year later, the two companies said they had signed a memorandum of understanding for another venture that would make electric vehicles for ride-hailing fleets.

EV makers from home-grown Nio Inc to U.S. leader Tesla Inc have been expanding manufacturing capacity in the world’s largest auto market, where the government is heavily promoting greener vehicles as a means of reducing chronic air pollution.

Sales of electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen-powered vehicles in China are forecast to rise to 20% of new car sales by 2025 from just 5% now, the State Council said in November.

(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Tom Hogue and Kenneth Maxwell)