January 28, 2014This February, two larger-than-life sports events will engage fans around the world. Both the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics will showcase incredible athletics, but for many the appeal isn't the competition itself. Indeed, a full 78 percent of Americans look forward to the commercials played during the Super Bowl more than the game itself, according to a new study by ad agency Venables Bell & Partners. That's up from 59 percent in 2011. "This is the strongest Super Bowl market that we have ever seen," says Toby Byrne, president of advertising sales at Fox. This year, 30-seconds of space on the broadcast cost $4 million and slots sold out over a month ago. And with the Winter Olympics opening just four days later, NBC is also jostling for sponsors. So far, the proximity hasn't deterred Olympic advertising in the least -- ad sales for the 18-day event have already exceeded $800 million.