A combination of low ratings and a sluggish ad market accounted for the 9% drop in the average price of a 30-second primetime spot on broadcast network TV versus last year’s Q1. The typical price early this year fell to $102,983, according to an analysis by media agency TargetCast tcm of data supplied by research firm NetCosts. That’s a change from the last three years, when prices rose or were mostly flat. The researchers provided selected data about individual networks, but they illustrate the differences in pricing power. Fox led the pack with an average unit cost of $172,139, followed by CBS ($116,122), ABC ($106,577) and NBC ($62,890). The Peacock network was down 27% from last year, according to TargetCast. Cable also struggled with the soft scatter market early this year. Prices for the 15 top networks among 25- to-54-year-olds were “up very slightly” to $14,865, following a 2% decline in Q4. ESPN came in at $38,943 early this year, ahead of TNT’s $21,679.

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