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American Idol: The High Cost To Advertise On TV

Posted by on October 26, 2010 at 1:32 PM EST

american idol advertiseAmerican Idol has the highest costing advertisements on TV.

While some things at American Idol have changed, one thing has stayed the same. American Idol is still the most expensive show to advertise on.

While the new season of American Idol doesn’t start airing until January it was announced today that a 30 second spot on the show would cost you at least $467,000.  That is about $50,000 more than the next highest priced show, NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” which commands around $415,000 for a 30 second clip.

While the ratings were down last season, American Idol was still the highest rated show on TV. You can bet that producers are counting on all the off-season press that the show has gotten to peak interest again which should translate into high ratings at the start of the new season. Simon Cowell, Ellen Degeneres and Kara Dioguardi are gone. With the departure of Paula before last season, Randy Jackson and Ryan Seacrest are the two last remaining holdovers from the original season. That could work both ways for the show. The new judges will spark some interest and people will want to tune in to see how they do, but if they don’t deliver people may opt to tune out. There has been a lot of speculation about who will be “the next Simon.” By that I suppose they mean who will be the mean/honest one. Some say Randy is taking over that role and he says nobody is that they are all just being themselves. Half the fun is listening to the judges, but if they don’t deliver it could take a lot out of the show and cost them badly in the ratings. The fans love to hate Simon and without him it could hurt them. Normally speaking, major cast changes don’t come without a loss of ratings and since Simon is bringing his American Idol-like show X-factor to America it could compete with AI for viewers.

All that said, American Idol has the pedigree and they have been the number one show for a while so they have the luxury of assuming that trend will continue and charging for their ad time accordingly. Interestingly enough, Fox has five of the six most expensive shows on TV right now. Following American Idol is Glee ($272,694), Family Guy ($259,289), The Simpsons ($253,170) and House ($226,180). While The Simpsons and Family Guy don’t have enormous ratings they do attract a very large concentration of younger men which advertisers are willing to pay a premium for.

Meet The New Judges Of American Idol!

Rounding out the rest of the top 10 are Grey’s Anatomy ($222,113), The Office ($213,617), Desperate Housewives ($210,064) and Two and a Half Men ($206,722). The cheapest show on TV to advertise on is currently the CW’s Supernatural, which costs $29,100 for a 30-second ad.

It will be interesting to see how all the changes on American Idol play out and if their ratings go up or down. I have a feeling they will get a nice spike in ratings right at the start, but will then settle into a more normal number. Whether or not they have to adjust their price once the show starts to air remains to be seen, but right now American Idol is the king of the ad revenue and it looks like they are working hard to hang on to that title.



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