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Why TV Advertisers Are Spending More for Less This Season

  • Ad Age, Tuesday, June 29, 2010 12:01 AM
After forking over price increases of 7% to 10% for ad time on broadcast TV in the recent upfront market, advertisers are likely to blanch at a disquieting fact: They are paying more for less. Buyers are projecting noticeable declines in household commercial ratings across the prime-time grid for the coming fall season, per Advertising Age's annual survey of ratings estimates from media-buying firms.

The projections suggest significant audience erosion. For the recently completed 2009-2010 season, for example, ad buyers had projected a 14.1 household C3 rating for ABC's popular "Dancing With the Stars," a 13.1 for CBS' widely watched "NCIS" and a 13.7 for the Tuesday airing of Fox's "American Idol." But for the coming cycle, they envision those programs will generate household C3 ratings of 10.3, 10.8 and 10.37, respectively. Bottom line: advertisers are seeing the cost of reaching 1,000 people -- a negotiating measure also known as a CPM -- increase.



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