'Desperate Housewives' Keeps Sunday Rates Competitive
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Marketers will pony up as much as $700,000 for a
30-second spot in Fox's midseason hit, "American Idol," according to an
initial survey of media agencies, conducted annually by Advertising Age
The Tuesday-night singing competition, returning in January, is the most
expensive show for the third year in a row. Back in 2003, when NBC's
"Friends," topped the list, "American Idol," didn't even make the top ten.
Not all pay full price
The going price for 30-second
spot on Fox's wildly popular
'American Idol' ranges from
$500,000 to $700,000.
The cost of a 30-second spot is based on early estimates of pricing
information from the network, though some marketers pay significantly less --
around $550,000 -- depending on their overall commitment to the show and to
Fox. For instance, Advertising Age
's exclusive price data last year
found TV buyers paying around $496,000 for a Tuesday-night spot. Prices also
rise as the season comes to an end in May 2007; some advertisers will pay more
than $700,000 as the finale nears.
Others at the top of the heap include Fox's "House," ABC's "Desperate
Housewives," and ABC newcomer "Brothers and Sisters."
The "Idol" Wednesday-night edition remains the second-most expensive show,
also commanding prices in the $550,000 to $700,000 range. The additional
Thursday-night "Idol" broadcast, which Fox added this year, is also commanding
top dollar. The Tuesday "American Idol" was the most-watched show last season,
and the Wednesday edition finished No. 2. The show commanded an 18-49-year-old
audience of 31 million during the 2005-2006 season.
Benefiting from 'Idol'
Also benefiting from the continued dominance of "Idol" is Fox's "House," which
will follow the "Idol" broadcast on Tuesdays starting in January and has held
its own this quarter without the help of "Idol." According to some early
estimates "House" has seen pricing double from last year's $200,000 to
Overall, the pricing for Sunday nights is nearly as competitive as Thursday, a
night that always draws top rates given the number of marketers looking to
reach viewers before the weekend. Buyers report demand for ABC's "Desperate
Housewives" remains strong -- marketers will pay in the $400,000 range for a
30-second spot, despite criticism of last year's creative standards.
Newcomer "Brothers & Sisters" is commanding up to $300,000 per spot. The show
features Calista Flockhart and Sally Fields in a family-based drama and could
end up being the highest-priced newcomer to the network grid this season.
On NBC "Sunday Night Football" is commanding prices (around $350,000) that are
similar to those ABC had charged for "Monday Night Football." News Corp.'s new
entry, My Network TV, looks to be the bargain basement of broadcast. Buyers
are reporting pricing for the two telenovelas, "Desire: Table for Two" and
"Fashion House," at anywhere between $20,000 to $35,000 for a spot.