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Every year, the Super Bowl grows in influence. This year is no different. It is by far the most watched championship game of any sport, and for that reason, companies are willing to shell out big bucks to advertise on the program.

The going rate for a 30 second commercial spot on this year’s Super Bowl XLVI is $3.5 million. That figure is $500K higher than last year’s, and a 59% increase over the last 11 years. According to executives at NBC, all of the commercial slots are sold out, and have been since Thanksgiving.

Of course, there are high expectations for commercials that run during the big game, and this year you can expect more of the same. Some of the most anticipated commercials will be Volkswagen‘s new Beetle advertisement, GoDaddy‘s spot featuring The Pussycat Dolls and Pepsi will debut it’s brand new ad featuring X-Factor USA winner Melanie Amaro.

The game is scheduled to be played on February 5th in Indianapolis, Indiana.

thanks [THR]