ABC Seeks $1.6M to $1.7M for Oscars Ad Time

Pricing Flat or Slightly Below That of Last Telecast

ABC is seeking between $1.6 million and $1.7 million for a 30-second spot on its 2012 Oscars telecast, according to a person familiar with the tone of negotiations.

The figures show demand for the broadcast staying flat with — or dipping slightly below — that for the 2011 broadcast, for which the Walt Disney network sought around $1.7 million. Oscar ad prices swooned in 2009, when the recession, ratings performance and other factors sent the price down to about $1.3 million. While Oscar’s standing in the ad community has improved since that time, the price of an ad in the broadcast has yet to regain its full luster — in 2008, ads were selling for about $1.8 million for 30 seconds of ad time. The recent contretemps over replacing former event producer Brett Ratner and show host Eddie Murphy has little to do with the prices, which would have been established weeks ago.

The ad price suggests ratings for last year’s event haven’t thrown off potential sponsors. Approximately 37.9 million viewers tuned in to see “The King’s Speech” win in the Best Picture category on ABC’s 2011 broadcast of The Academy Awards, according to Nielsen. In 2010, however, approximately 41.7 million tuned in to see “The Hurt Locker” take the evening.

After seeing viewership dip as low as 32 million in 2008 — down from 38.9 million the year before — the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences tried in 2010 to turn things around by expanding the number of contenders for Best Picture and making room for more blockbusters in the process. As many as 10 different films could be nominated — the first time in six decades that a field wider than five nominees was allowed.

Read More at: AdAge