News And Late Night Help NBC's Average CPM

Clearly buoyed by its strong news and late-night programming, NBC had a higher average CPM rate in 2010 compared with ABC and CBS, according to research from SNL Kagan. Figures across all dayparts show the network, which trails in prime time, had an average of $20.85.

That’s a 24-hour average for national commercials on all network programming using C3 ratings for the calculations. The figures are, however, based on total viewers and not the 18-to-49 demo that drives prime-time sales.

ABC followed at $16.63, topping CBS at $16.06. All three networks posted higher rates than the recession-impacted 2009, with CBS notably higher (the 2009 numbers are calculated off Nielsen live-only ratings).

CBS rose from a $14.79 average to 2010’s $16.06. NBC went from $20.29 up to the $20.85, while ABC increased from $16.17 to $16.63.

Fox tops all three networks by large margins, but its numbers apparently only include prime-time programming and an hour of a Sunday morning newscast. Fox posted a 2010 average C3 CPM (using total viewers) of $28.21, down a penny from 2009, according to Kagan.



Among the 10 cable networks with the greatest number of subscribers (all over 100 million homes), ESPN led the field at $15.63 in 2010 (using a 24-hour C3 average). The network has the highly rated “Monday Night Football,” which could have bolstered the average.

Discovery was second with a $9.33 average, followed by TBS at $8.33 and the Food Network at $7.24. TNT and USA, which offer some popular dramas, followed at $6.23 and $5.75, respectively.

Among the top 10 in distribution, CNN had the lowest average at $2.58, which is likely higher now with election coverage and higher prime-time ratings.

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