Bloomberg.com’s Adam Satariano reports — albeit unsurprisingly — that while this year’s Super Bowl advertisers are paying a record $3 million per spot, the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals will likely (okay, certainly) have fewer viewers than last year’s game, which pitted an then-undefeated New England Patriots against the New York Giants (aka the team from the largest market in the nation). Regardless, analysts are predicting/hoping that this year’s game will pull down at least 90 million viewers, but still fewer than the record 97 million averaged in 2008.

In the same article, NBC’s oft-optimistic-but-not-fooling-anyone Brian Walker claims the network’s Super Bowl ad inventory is 90 percent sold and NBC’s sales team is “in active conversations on the remaining spots.”

Let’s hope the companies involved in those active conversations don’t see what AdAge’s Brian Steinberg had to say yesterday about the effect that a down economy can have on consumers’ attention spans and their ability to recall the ads. Said the article, “When consumer confidence is weak, according to the Gallup & Robinson data, recall is 11% lower than average and 36% lower than in good times.”

I wonder if NBC has considered auctioning off the remaining spots on eBay?

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