One Internet company backs out of Super Bowl telecast

Wednesday, January 5th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) -- One Internet company has backed out of its plans to advertise on the Super Bowl telecast, but several others say they have no interest in giving up their spots., which is starting a Web site that will match investors with entrepreneurs looking for financial backing, recently dropped its plans to advertise on the NFL footballchampionship game being carried by ABC on Jan. 30.

Steven Fu, the founder and chief executive of, said Tuesday the company decided its $2 million-plus would be better spent if spread over the course of the year than on the Super Bowl alone. It now plans to redirect that advertising spending to other ABC programs and to the network's related media interests. He said the company had recently allied with additional partners and there was insufficient time to get them all involved with the Web site by the Super Bowl date. "We released our spot back to the network and they were able to resell it at nicer price," Fu said.

USA Today reported Tuesday that had also decided to skip the game after buying a commercial spot. A spokeswoman for the company, which assembles editorial content for Web sites, said she understood a decision had not yet been made on whether to use or back out of the ad. ABC officials declined comment on their specific dealings with Super Bowl advertisers but said the commercial time on the telecastis sold out. As many as a dozen dot-com advertisers bought time on the Super Bowl telecast, helping drive up the average price by about 25percent to a record level of over $2 million for a 30-second commercial. A year ago, ads averaged $1.6 million.

Recent reports that large number of dot-com companies in the Super Bowl telecast has unnerved some of them about whether the Super Bowl is worth it. Bob Flood, who oversees commercial purchases for clients of DeWitt Media, said he had heard there were other advertiser s"seeking relief" from Super Bowl commitments but was unable to identify any of them. But he said it would be up to the network whether to allow advertisers out of their commitments to buy commercial time.

Mike Zapolin, chief executive of, said his company was having no second thoughts about its Super Bowl commercial buy. He said the company paid $2.7 million for one 30-second commercial in the game and two in the pre game show, and expects its commercial will stand out with the huge audience expected to watch the game. "We think we will be the dot-com discussed at the water cooler on Monday," he said. The company offers advice and information on computers to technology novices over its Web site.

Other dot-com advertisers who said they are still in the game include, which sells wedding invitations and stationery;, a pet supply outlet; and E-Trade Group, the online broker.