Excluding Olympics, Cost of Broadcast Spots Flat

London Games Push Cable Network Prices Lower
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Excluding the Olympics, commercial prices on the big broadcast networks in primetime were flat in the third quarter, averaging $82,396 per 30-second spot. The Olympics pushed down cable prices during the quarter.

According to an analysis by media agency TargetCast tcm of information from SQAD Inc.'s NetCosts data bank, prices for spots on the top fifteen cable networks in the adults 25 to 54 demographic were down 2% to $12,793.

Following the price drops caused by the recession, commercial prices on broadcast have been flat or up for 10 straight quarters, TargetCast says. In the second quarter commercials on broadcast cost $130,194 per 30 seconds, up 3% from the prior year.

In the third quarter, spots on Fox averaged $119,265, spots on CBS averaged $82,265, ABC spots earned $73,618 and non-Olympic spots on NBC cost $71,368.

Commercial prices were lower in the third quarter than the second because of summer reruns and viewers being drawn to the London Games.

Gary Carr, senior VP, executive director of national broadcast at TargetCast, says that despite a softer scatter market than last year, overall costs were stable due to the relatively high sell-out levels in the upfront. Many advertisers had committed more money upfront to avoid potentially high prices in scatter.