30 Second Spot Cost Survey: American Idol Tops Sunday Night Football; Glee Tops All Scripted

Categories: 1-Featured,Broadcast TV,TV Advertising

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October 17th, 2010

In Ad Ages annual survey of prices for 30 second commercial spots, Simon or no Simon, American Idol still tops everything with its Tuesday show averaging $467,617 per spot, topping Sunday Night Football's $415,000.

Glee tops all scripted content at $272,694, though Fox animations Family Guy ($259,289) and The Simpsons ($253,170) have impressive hauls according to the survey estimates.

Two and a Half Men topped all live action comedy with $206,722 per 30 second spot, leading The Big Bang Theory ($195,077) and Modern Family ($193,635).

The survey puts Castle slightly ahead of Hawaii Five-0 ($134,155 vs. $133,900).

Newcomer The Event ($137,210) came in ahead of newcomer No Ordinary Family ($107,671).  Last week No Ordinary Family had the better adults 18-49 ratings.

Fringe's 30 second spot cost is estimated at $122,163, not that much less (especially considering the real life ratings gap) than the $132,024 estimate for Bones.

According to the survey, Chuck pulls in $94,697 and Community $88,062.

The numbers can't be taken as gospel, they're averages compiled from surveys of six media buying agencies and "other sources."  They are mostly based on the upfront negotiations (i.e., pricing was negotiated for new shows before they aired). They're are unaudited numbers.  I'd guess in most cases the numbers are decent proxies for relative revenue based on the ratings projections the networks gave the advertisers.

Those projections weren't very good for some of the new shows and we'll sadly never see a trued up report based on what actually happened.  Rest assured that the truing-up will occur nonetheless.   Fox already said goodbye to the $143,126 Lone Star was estimated to generate per 30 second spot -- because when things got trued up, it wasn't going to be anywhere near $143,126.

Still fun for discussion purposes though.  Browse the night-by-night grid on Ad Age to see detail for all broadcast network shows, including mid season shows.

 
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