If you want to know why the NFL is so powerful, take a look at the prices its games commanded in Advertising Age‘s latest annual survey of fall prime time commercial outlays. NBC’s Sunday Night Football and CBS’ Thursday Night Football were the two most expensive shows on TV: 30-second spots on the NBC broadcast sold for an average of $627,300, +5.7% vs last year, while CBS’ new limited-run package averaged $483,333. ESPN’s Monday Night Football cost about $400,000, but Ad Age says that’s not directly comparable because cable networks often also sell reruns.
Scripted entertainment for the most part is yards behind the gridiron action — but AMC’s Walking Dead comes close with $400,000, making it the most expensive series on broadcast or cable. CBS’ The Big Bang Theory is the priciest broadcast series at $344,827, +8.8%. The year’s top gainer is Fox’s Sleepy Hollow, +47.2% to $202,500. NBC’s The Blacklist, another standout from last year, is +40.3% to $282,975. Among freshman shows, NBC’s State Of Affairs leads with $219,188.
Strangely, Fox’s American Idol ad prices don’t reflect its declining ratings. The Wednesday competitions are selling for about $243,200 — +35.8% vs the most recent season — although Ad Age notes that many agencies have yet to place orders.
But other high-profile shows are struggling. ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy is down nearly 27% to $149,523. Monday night competitions on NBC’s The Voice are -6.8% to $274,157. Fox’s The Simpsons fell nearly 18% to $189,933 while Family Guy is -23.3% to $158,400. And CBS’ Two And A Half Men fell about 20% to $147,140 while 60 Minutes is down 5.7% to $98,280.