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'Lost' Finale: 30-Second Spots Said to Go for $900K

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Mar 29, 2010 | 2:31am EDT

LostAccording to media buyers who spoke to Ad Age, the cost of a 30-second ad in the final episode of ABC's Lost will cost an extraordinary $900,000.

The show's rabid fan base and the intense scrutiny surrounding the final episodes has seen prices skyrocket from last year's upfront where a 30-second spot for Lost was selling for an average of $213,563.

At $900,000 a spot, notes Ad Age, ABC is clearing a markup north of 400% from advertisers who didn't reserve their time in the show last year.

The series finale will air as part of a three-hour block on Sunday, May 23.

The price, just $400,000 to $600,000 less than the cost of a 30-second spot in this year's Oscars, illustrates the interest advertisers have in so-called event programming.

The show "is different, and people talk about it, and it's not just some sitcom coming to an end," Ira Berger, director-network broadcasting at independent agency Richards Group, told Ad Age. "It's very much an event."

A spot on the last episode of Lost would cost more than any of the 10 most-expensive programs on TV for advertisers, according to Ad Age's survey of prices paid in last year's upfront. The costliest program for the 2009-2010 season was NBC's "Sunday Night Football," where a 30-second spot had an average price tag of $339,700, says the trade.

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