Price of a 30-Second TV Spot Slumps 4.1%

Categories: TV Advertising

Written By

October 6th, 2008

Advertising Age is reporting:

Continued audience erosion, combined with the effects of the writers strike, helped drive the average cost for a 30-second commercial in prime time down 4.1% to $130,089 during the 2007-2008 season, according to an analysis performed by independent media agency TargetCast TCM. The drop marks the second consecutive seasonal decline in pricing for 30-second TV ads and represents a noticeable widening over last season's 0.7% drop.

"The major reason average unit costs are down is because of audience erosion -- call it what you will, normal audience erosion. Because there's [media] fragmentation, fewer scripted shows and the cable networks in the summertime have ratings that shoot up because they run their good programs," said Gary Carr, senior VP-director of broadcast services at TargetCast tcm. Factor in the effects of the writers strike and issuance of "make-good" ads given after ratings guarantees fell short of what was stipulated in agreements, and "it is not surprising that broadcast pricing ebbed once again," he added. 


According to TargetCast, the average price of a 30-second ad fell the most on CBS. It dropped about 10.8%, falling to $116,729 from $130,896. At NBC, the average cost fell about 6.2% to $102,928 from $109,764. At Fox, the average cost fell 2.3% to $194,969 from $199,637. Only ABC was able to muster a price increase. According to TargetCast, the average price of a 30-second spot on the Walt Disney network rose 1.1% to $133,774 from $132,368.

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