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Tensor

2012-13 Ad Rates

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I hope you enjoy or learned something for the Ratings wrap-up articles. The covered some terms, how ratings are determined, and the Live + Same day DVR viewing; the covered syndication; and the covered the Live + Seven day DVR viewing.

This article will look at just what, exactly, those ratings are for. I will be comparing the ad rates for a 30 second ad on various shows, I’ll list the top ten for the last two years, and the changes in the top ten. I'll look at how the ratings compare to the ad rates and I’ll also speculate a bit on what the ad rates may do this year and how that may affect the renewal of TBBT. Unless specified, spot refers to the average cost of a 30 second ad.

First of all, the ad rates are set at the beginning of the year. Ad Age releases the spot cost in October. One thing to remember, these are the AVERAGE cost of a spot. For instance, in 2012-13 season, the average price of a spot for Wednesday’s American Idol was $341,000. However, during the end of the year, during the Champion announcement, some spots can go as high as $1,000,000.

Here are the top ten shows, as far as ad rates for the 2012-2013 season and the ad rates for the same show in the 2011-12 season along with the increase or decrease for the show:

Show.........................................2012-13..................2011-12................+/-

Sunday Night Football..............$545,000................$512,000..........+ 33,000

American Idol (Wed)................$341,000................$502,000..........-161,000

Modern Family.........................$331,000................$249,000..........+ 82,000

New Girl....................................$321,000................$126.000..........+195,000

American Idol (Thur).................$296,000................$468,000..........-172,000

The Simpsons...........................$286,000................$254,000..........+ 32,000

Family Guy................................$277,000................$265,000..........+ 12,000

The Big Bang Theory................$276,000................$198,000..........+ 78,000

Two Broke Girls.........................$269,000................$167,000..........+102,000

Two and a Half Men...................$247,000................$252,000..........- 5,000

The top ten in 2011-12 look like this:

Sunday Night Football......$512,000

American Idol...................$502,000

The X-Factor....................$321,000

Glee.................................$267,000

Family Guy.......................$265,000

The Simpsons..................$254,000

Two and a Half Men.........$252,000

Modern Family................. $249,000

Dancing with the Stars......$234,000

The Voice..........................$207,000

TBBT was in 12th place.

Since advertisers mainly look at the 18-49 demo, lets do the same thing we did for the ad rates, for the 18-49 rankings and see how well they correlate:

Show....................................2012-13............2011-12................+/-

Sunday Night Football...............8.2...................8.0..................+0.2

The Big Bang Theory................6.2...................5.5...................+0.7

SunNight Football Pre-Game....5.8...................5.7...................+0.1

The Voice (Mon).......................5.1...................6.1...................-1.0

Modern Family..........................4.9...................5.5...................-0.6

The Voice (Tue)........................4.7...................4.1..................+0.6

American Idol(Wed)..................4.6...................6.2...................-1.6

The OT (Football score show)..4.6...................5.2...................-0.6

American Idol (Thu)..................4.3...................5.5...................-1.2

The Following*..........................4.3...................----...................-----

*The Following premeired in 2012-13, so there is no direct comparison for the previous year.

Look at that list. The highest increase in demo, was TBBT. And, although the the Tuesday edition of The Voice increased by 0.6, it’s Monday edition lost a full point.

The top ten shows for 2011-12, didn’t change much, except for the order(Look at the ratings). There were two changes. The Voice (Tue) was not in the top ten in 2011-12 and The Following had not premiere. Those two slots were taken by Two and a Half Men (5.1) and X-Factor(Wed)4.4.

You may notice that some of the most expensive advertising, is on shows that are not in the top ten, in ratings. I’m going to show what I’ll call the cost per ratings point(CPRP).

This will show how much each ratings point cost, based on a 30 second spot. You do have to remember these rates are for a 30 second spot. Remember American Idol on Wed runs about 45 minutes, leaving 30 spots to run. That’s $12 MILLION per episode.

For 2012-13 Top Ten Ad Costs

Show......................................Spot Cost...............Demo Rating..................CPRP

Sunday Night Football.............545,000........................8.2..........................66,500

American Idol (Wed)................341,000........................4.6..........................74,000

Modern Family.........................331,000........................4.9..........................67,500

New Girl...................................321,000........................3.2........................100,500

American Idol (Thur)................296,000........................4.3..........................69,000

The Simpsons..........................286,000........................2.9..........................98,500

Family Guy...............................277,000........................3.6..........................77,000

The Big Bang Theory...............276,000........................6.2..........................44,516

Two Broke Girls.......................269,000.........................3.7.........................72,500

Two and a Half Men.................247,000........................4.1..........................60,000

Most of the top ten are around 65-75 thousand CPRP. There are three that are rather far outside this area. New Girl is the only top ten ad cost show, that is over $100,000.

Last year, New Girl was pulling in a 4.2 demo, using that, the CPRP would have been ~$76,000, right near where the majority of shows are. It’s just that New Girls‘ ratings fell hard this year(they lost 1.9 ratings points). The Simpsons also dropped four tenths, but even using the 3.3 demo from last year, it still would have a 89,000 CPRP.

The other anomaly, one at the low end, is TBBT. It CPRP is the lowest, of the top ten (and interesting sidelight, the other top ten low cost show is Two and a Half Men. Chuck’s shows are pulling in a lot of viewers for a low ad price. His other show, Mike and Molly is also at $60,000 CPRP.).

Ad rates are set at the beginning of the season, and are mostly based on the previous year’s performance (there are some residual, show reputation thing going on). This can best be seen in the numbers for the Thursday American Idol, and TBBT. In 2011-12 both shows had the same demo rating at 5.53, TBBT share was 17, compared to 16 for Idol, but, Idol had about 10,000 more viewers than TBBT.

Idol ran 18 episodes, no repeats. TBBT ran 32 episodes, 8 of which were repeats, which drags down the ratings. But, TBBT manage to have the same ratings, with 8 repeats and more telecasts. Yet, for 2012-13, a spot on Idol was $296,000, while the cost for TBBT was $276,000, $20,000 more a spot. It should be noted that, although Idol was still more expensive per spot, it dropped 1.2 ratings points and $172,000 while TBBT increased 0.7 ratings points and $78,000, from the 2011-12 season.

The result of setting ad prices at the beginning of the season is the that $20,000 more per spot cost, Idol produced 1.9 rating points less than TBBT. It also had 2.4 MILLION less demo viewers and just over 4 MILLION less total viewers. I expect Idol to drop quite a bit in their spot price for the coming year. On the other hand, I would expect TBBT to jump to around 360,000-375,000 per spot for the coming year. With the year it had, New Girl’s ad price appears to be set to drop drastically from last year.

Let’s look at what that means for TBBT. I’m going to use $350,000 per spot, to simplify the math, even though that figure is below what I expect it to bring in. Over the last two years, TBBT has averaged 7 repeat episodes (remember, that spot price is the average of all episodes) so we’ll use 31 episodes (24 new + 7 repeats) and see where that takes us.

Normally, a 30 minute comedy show runs 22 minutes, with 8 minutes of commercials. However, for the past two years, TBBT has been running an average of about 20 minutes and change (It was less in 2012-13, just under 20 minutes). So, well use 20 minutes of run time and 11 minutes of ad time. Why 11, for a half hour comedy? Well, CBS has been running TBBT to 8:31PM (Eastern time), which allows them to add an extra minute of ad time, at TBBT rate.

So, now that we have all the numbers, let’s figure this out. 11 minutes of ad time, is 22 30 second spots. If we use $350,000 for the spot price, that means one show of TBBT brings in approximately $7.7 Million. Now, if you run 31 episodes, that means that TBBT can expect to bring in about $238 MILLION in ad revenue to CBS.

I don’t know (probably no one but the parties do) how much CBS paid for TBBT (remember, this is the third year of the current renewal). If it was a flat fee or a sliding scale or what. But, do remember that the contracts for the actors and the show are up at the end of this year. With that much money flying around, you know that everyone is going to want their piece.

Johnny, Jim, and Kaley already are getting $325,000 an episode this year, and a piece of the syndication money(it was part of the renegotiation of their contracts.) Simon and Kunal are getting less than the other three, so I can see them wanting to increase their part of this, coming up. Mayim and Melissa are probably in the same situation as Simon and Kunal.

It will be interesting to see if the cast renegotiates as a group, something the cast of “Friends” did(after all, since their are so many, who want to do comparisons between TBBT and Friends, why not compare salaries?). During the original renegotiation, Jim, Johnny, and Kaley started out wanting to get the same raises. Then Jim broke away and asked for a higher amount. Warner Brothers said no and he ended up with the same amount as Johnny and Kaley. Kunal and Simon negotiated separately.

Just remember, if they do negotiate as a group, and even if they raised all seven actors money to $500,000, over 24 episodes, that would be 84 Million in actor salaries, starting in season 8. Leaving everyone else to still split 154 Million. I know, I feel bad for everyone too.

If they got $750,000 each per episode (what Friends got for seasons 7 and 8), then the cost of the actor’s salaries comes to 126 million. Leaving only $112 million for everyone else. I still feel bad for everyone.

Hope you enjoyed this. If there are any questions, feel free to ask me in the Forum. It’s much easier to answer there.

Edited to add 8/27/13. TV Guide is reporting (so take that with a grain of salt) that Jim, Johnny and Kaley will ask for up to $1 million per episode.

Edited by Tensor
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Looking at that Friends seems to still be the last comedy/sitcom genre to finish #1 in Top ten shows in viewership. Friends finished #1 most watched show in 2002, since then no comedy has finished #1, TBBT finishes #3. I know everyone likes to compare TBBT to Friends, but Friends was before social and digital media, so alot has changed since 2004, reason why when shows hit 20 mill it is a big deal, like TBBT did for The Bakersfeild Expedition was it? Anyway I don't get or understand all the numbers but looks good to me.

Edited by 3ku11
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Looking at that Friends seems to still be the last comedy/sitcom genre to finish #1 in Top ten shows in viewership. Friends finished #1 most watched show in 2002, since then no comedy has finished #1, TBBT finishes #3. I know everyone likes to compare TBBT to Friends, but Friends was before social and digital media, so alot has changed since 2004, reason why when shows hit 20 mill it is a big deal, like TBBT did for The Bakersfeild Expedition was it? Anyway I don't get or understand all the numbers but looks good to me.

Looking at the ratings data for 2001-02, Friends viewership was 23.9 million. TBBT this year was 18.6 Million. What's interesting, is that the percentage of network viewers was, essentially, the same, for both shows. Total network viewers in 2001-02 was just over 55 million, at 8 PM on Thursdays (when Friends was on). At the same time this year, total viewers was 42.5 million. That give Friends 43.4% and Big Bang Theory was at 43.7%.

It's much more difficult to get to 20 milion today. There were six shows with viewership over 20 million in 2001-02. This year, there was 1. So, TBBT pulling down just under 19 million, this year, is the equivalent of the Friends rating in 2002. As an example, to highlight the decline, The Simpsons finished 39th in 2001-02, with 12.4 million viewers. This year, 60 Minutes finished with 12.4 million viewers, it came in 16th in total viewers.

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Yeah Interesting I read some where could of been Wiki not sure that Friends averaged 23.0 mill per episode for ten years, the finalie is still the most watched episode since 2004. But of course it is interesting how social and digital media has changed ratings, so it is really remarkble TBBT ratings, although just under 19 mill for the season. It is interesting as regardless with quality up 4 mill in audience viewership from last season is impressive.

Edited by 3ku11

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