Media Buying and Inbound Marketing Blog

What Programs on TV Cost Advertisers the Most?

By Jane Peters on September 29, 2014 |


Do you know which shows it costs the most to advertise in? There are many factors that contribute to the cost of an ad: advertiser demand, ratings, and live viewing ratings.  Knowing the cost of advertising on TV can help you with your own media strategy.                 TVprices_s

Nationally,sports programming leads the pack in cost per spot. NBC's Sunday Night Football and CBS' Thursday Night Football are the most expensive respectively.  Huge demand on inventory and big ratings have always driven up the price, But now live programming is viewed as more valuable by many advertisers due to the change in viewing habits caused by DVRs and live streaming services such as Netflex and Amazon Prime. Comcast, the country’s biggest pay TV provider, said 70 percent of its subscribers watch stuff on demand, and that TV shows account for 40 percent of its usage.

Advertisers who purchase football are paying an average increase of 6% over last year with the average spot cost of $627,300 for a 30-second spot in Sunday Night Football, CBS's Thursday Night Football costs an average of $483,333 per spot.

NBC's The Blacklist and The Voice are the next most expensive shows.  The Blacklist is averaging over $284,000 per spot and The Voice cost an average of $274,000.

CBS’s The Big Bang Theory is averaging $344,827 for a 30-second spot making it the most expensive entertainment programming this Fall on a network. While AMC’s  Walking Dead, proving zombies are expensive, comes in at about $400,000 per spot makes it the most expensive over network and cable networks. 

Local business owners don't need to avoid TV advertising just because they don't have huge budgets. As a local advertiser, you can adopt the national media strategy by concentrating your advertising budget on local news and sports programming, flighting schedules and adopting short ad formats to increase your frequency.

Local TV stations have seen increases in demand for their inventory, as the economy continues to improve and businesses are spending more of their ad dollars on traditional advertising. (The Fall elections are also creating a demand on local inventory levels as political candidates and issues bombard us with endless ads.)

If you would like to learn more about TV advertising for your business, download our 5 Mistakes to Avoid with your TV Advertising.

Download 5 Mistakes to Avoid with your TV Advertising

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