'Tonight Show' Has $926k Ads/Night, What Will 'Jay Leno Show' Make?

Categories: TV Advertising,TV Business

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December 15th, 2008

TV Week writes that the estimated ad revenues for The Tonight Show are:

According to TNS Media Intelligence, “The Tonight Show” generates about $926,000 in ad revenue every night for NBC. Spots cost $50,877 for 30 seconds and advertisers pay $33.32 to reach 1,000 viewers (CPM) in the adults 18 to 49 demographic, based on C3 commercial ratings.

And for NBC's current weekday primetime line-up (which is doing relatively well on Tuesday-Thursday and dreadfully on Monday & Friday):

NBC’s prime-time programming in the 10 p.m. time slot generates an average of $2.3 million Monday through Friday night, ranging from a high of $2.6 million on Monday to a low of $1.5 million on Friday, according to TNS. Prices for spots range from $124,353 for 30 seconds on Monday to $70,239 for the same unit on Fridays. The CPM averages $34.87.

My guess is that the new Jay Leno Show at 10pm will probably do a bit worse than the current NBC line up, but better than that same line-up minus ER (ending this season) would do next fall considering how badly NBC's newly developed shows have done.

In another article, TV Week has some numbers on how much The Jay Leno Show is likely to save NBC:

“It’s good for their business, even if it’s bad for our business,” one agent said, referring to the money NBC might save by airing fewer scripted shows in prime time. One top network executive estimated the Peacock now spends about $150 million per season programming dramas at 10 p.m.; the cost of Mr. Leno’s show could be as little as $80 million. However, since Mr. Leno will produce new episodes during much of the summer, the overall price tag might be somewhat higher.

With that cost savings comes decreased risk. The Tonight Show pulls in about a 1.3 rating for adults 18-49 now, I'd expect The Jay Leno Show to pull in a 2.4-2.6 at 10pm, which would be better than what NBC does now on Monday and Friday, and probably better than what they could do on Thursday next fall.

And here are some numbers that should scare Hollywood talent plenty:

The merger of the network and studio put a slew of respected executives out of work. And the loss of the 10 p.m. timeslot to Mr. Leno will result in less employment opportunities for those who toil in the scripted world, a part of the business already under seige thanks to the rise of reality shows.

“Five hours of prime time lost means 50 writers and 50 actors and 50 directors are out of work,” a senior TV agent said.

And while others speculate that could promote more scripted shows at 10pm on cable, those shows and the jobs that go with them are almost certainly less lucrative than broadcast prime-time equivalents.

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