What does it cost to buy ads on Broadcast TV?

In recent years, as the cost of digital ads increased, the cost of broadcast TV ads decreased. However, that is not the case this year. The cost to buy ads on broadcast TV increased for some of the biggest shows this season. Advertisers paid substantial increases for 30 seconds of airtime in many returning series, according to Ad Age’s annual survey of media agencies. Of 80 returning series on the big four broadcast networks and The CW, 38 saw the cost for a 30-second commercial increase.

Cost to buy ads on TV

The pandemic caused a pent-up demand for live sports which impacted the price of NFL advertising. A 30-second spot in NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” costs an average of $783,718, a 14% jump from last season. This is also a new record for the cost of the Sunday-night game.  “Thursday Night Football” on Fox also saw a 16% increase, averaging $624,626 for 30 seconds of airtime. This compared with $540,090 that Fox had charged last year.

NBC’s famous drama “This Is Us” had to push up their production and premiere. However, it was the biggest gainer of the season. The show returned to 7.3 million viewers and a 1.4 rating in the 18-49 demographic. The cost of a 30-second spot during “This is Us” increased 33% to $476,352. At number 4, “The Voice,” also saw one of the biggest increases in price, with the Monday-night episode rising 33% to $254,22 for a 30-second commercial. ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” came in at number 7, with advertisers paying $213,829 on average for a 30 second commercial. This is an increase of   15% from last year.

Here is a list of some of the biggest TV shows with their costs for a :30 TV spot in 2020 compared to 2019:

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Carolina Macedo, the author, is Project Coordinator of Marketing Keys. She helps manage many of our TV buys for our clients.