According 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.