Broadcast TV is experiencing some post-writers strike pain when it comes to ad rates. TargetCast tcm says the cost of a primetime spot in the first quarter was 12% lower than last year, despite all the posturing on strong demand for last minute ad buys known as the “scatter market.”
With most scripted shows off the air in January, February and March, ratings plummeted and ad rates were slashed. Who was hurt the worst? NBC was slammed with a 24.7% drop, while Fox, with “American Idol” on the air, was hurt the least, but still took a 9.2% hit, even though its average includes the Super Bowl.
Here’s how the networks fared in the first quarter in terms of average cost of a 30-second ad in primetime, and the percentage change from last year:
- NBC (GE): $77,893, down 24.7%
- CBS (CBS): $112,641, down 11.9%
- ABC (DIS): $122,509, down 9.5%
- Fox (NWS): $237,237, down 9.2%
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