American Idol Most Expensive Advertising Rates, But It’s Less Than Previous Years

Although American Idol can still boast the most expensive ad rates of all television shows, including Sunday Night Football, the rates are significantly lower than they were in the show’s ratings heyday.

Idol currently costs advertisers $467, 617 for its Tuesday night performance show, and $400, 546 for it’s Wednesday night results show.

Why are ad rates so low right now?
Why are ad rates so low right now?

But back in 2007, when Season 6 premiered with 37.4 million viewers, the highest ratings the show has ever seen during a non-finale broadcast, a 30 second spot cost 620, 000.

The rates climbed even higher during 2008. Season 7 ran during a writers strike. So, while ad rates began at about $750, 000 for a 30 second spot, it climbed to 1.3 million as the show’s finale drew closer.

The days of 30m viewers per episode is over, unless Season 10 changes the game drastically. So, while Idol’s place at the the top of the ad heap is nice PR spin, it’s less impressive when compared to the show’s halcyon years.

Also notable: Glee commands $272, 694 per spot in the fall, $373, 014 in the spring and is an impressive #3 on the list.   Dancing with the Stars didn’t even make the Top 10.  Check out the entire top 10 after the jump.

1. American Idol (Tuesday/Weds Encore) FOX – $467, 617/ $400, 546
2. Sunday Night Football NBC – $415, 000
3. Glee (Tuesdays, Fall/ Weds, Spring) FOX – $272, 694/$373, 014
4. Family Guy (Sundays) FOX – $259, 289
5. The Simpsons (Sundays) FOX – $253, 170
6. House (Mondays) FOX – $226, 180
7. Grey’s Anatomy (Thursdays) ABC – $222, 113
8. The Office (Thursdays) NBC – $213, 617
9. Desperate Housewives (Sundays) ABC – $210, 064
10. Two and A Half Men (Mondays) CBS – $206, 722

About mj santilli 33692 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!

7 Comments

  1. DWTS has the Murder She Wrote audience — people over 55. Most advertisers do not want that audience.

    Most impressive to me are…

    1. Family Guy (1988-2001, 2004-present) and Simpsons (since 1989) — both have maintained the high ratings and 18-35 audience for years. And both are very inexpensive to produce.

    2. 5 of the top 6 shows are on Fox. Rupert must be happy!

  2. The show still makes a lot of money for Fox, that’s why it is in no danger of cancellation.
    Glee has become a huge hit and its demo numbers are great.

  3. I’m surprised the DWTS is not in the top 10. I wonder if it’s due to demographics.

    It’s great that AI is still doing relatively well, but it gives less incentive to really improve the show to create a relevant singer.

  4. I’m surprised the DWTS is not in the top 10. I wonder if it’s due to demographics.

    It is because of the demographics — older and less affluent than most advertiser want — over half the audience is over 50. Advertisers pay a premium for reaching 18-35 year olds and a lower premium for 18-49. Idol still delivers more people in the desired demo than any other series.

    Idol’s big advertisers also pay a lot for product placement and special promotions with the show. Idol generates a ton of money from promo activities beyond the show. DWTS has not been able to replicate this.

    These published rates are not what is actually paid — but the ranking is directionally correct. TV media rates are negotiated, and the advertisers have the advantage right now. Ad sales are up from 2009-10 season but down from the 2008-2009 season. Big advertiser can buy a Fox, NBC Networks or a Disney-ABC package, for example. Media buying firms buy up large chunks of time and resell it. And finally, there are local drop-ins, spot buys and direct TV rates.

    The big advertisers buy most of their TV in the upfront market which happens before the season starts. And about half of TV spending is now on Cable, not broadcast.

  5. 1. Family Guy (1988-2001, 2004-present) and Simpsons (since 1989) — both have maintained the high ratings and 18-35 audience for years. And both are very inexpensive to produce.

    Lol, Family Guy has been on since 1999, not 1988.

    I thought I read that ad rates across the board have declined over the last few years? It doesn’t seem to be just an Idol problem, especially since they are still #1.

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