Sunday Night Football Carries Highest Primetime TV Spot Price Tag, By Far

October 22, 2012

This article is included in these additional categories:

Sports | Television | TV Advertising | Youth & Gen X

NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” commands the highest average price for a 30-second spot, reports Ad Age. Its pricetag of $545,142 for 30 seconds is 60% higher than that of the second-place “American Idol,” broadcast on Fox on Wednesday nights. In the 2011-2012 season, “Sunday Night Football” and “American Idol” were about dead even. But while the SNF price jumped from $512,367 last season, “Idol” plunged from $502,900 to $340,825 this year. And, its Thursday night results show is down from $468,100 to $296,002. Still, ad prices peak for “Idol” in its final weeks and have reached more than $1 million for its season finales.

This year, ABC’s “Modern Family” comes in at third ($330,908), ahead of Fox’s “New Girl” ($320,940), and “American Idol” again for its Thursday broadcast ($290,062).

“The Simpsons” in sixth place is up to $286,131 for a 30-second spot, from $254,260 last season. Being on the top 10 list is quite an achievement for a show now in its 24th season. “The Simpsons” in 2009 overtook “Gunsmoke” as the longest-running primetime scripted series in history.

Topical News, Youth Demos Fairly Inexpensive

To put the power of “Sunday Night Football” in perspective, a brand could purchase about 5 spots on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” with its modest $117,966 pricetag, for the price of one SNF spot. ABC’s “20/20” on Friday nights commands just $61,997.

Reaching the youthful demographic of The CW network is a relative bargain, with its top-rated “Vampire Diaries” on Thursday night fetching just $61,887. The CW’s “Nikita” on Friday nights offers the lowest price of any network show at just $23,387. Also some of the lowest ratings.

Strangely missing from this Top 10 list: TV dramas, which Nielsen reported in April 2012 garnered 41% of prime time viewership and 35% of ad spend. Sports was the next-most popular genre, at 22% of viewership and 29% of ad spend, followed by reality shows (16% and 17%, respectively). Ad Age observes that, as of October 2012, 7 out of the top 10 shows are comedies, and that the coveted 18 to 49 demographic is looking for laughs.

About The Data: The report was compiled by Ad Age using data from up to six media-buying agencies, based on what advertisers paid for ad time during the year’s upfront market.

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