Everyone Loves 'Raymond,' Especially Media Buyers: Finale Spots Fetch $1.3 Million

It won't break the ad sales record set by the final episode of NBC's "Friends," but at $1.3 million per 30-second spot, the May 16 series finale of "Everybody Loves Raymond" will still be one of the most expensive media buys ever for a regularly scheduled prime-time series episode, according to estimates from media buyers contacted by MediaDailyNews. At $2 million per :30, NBC's May 7, 2004 telecast of the "Friends" finale still holds the record for the unit rate of a regularly scheduled prime-time series, followed by the $1.6 million per :30 NBC averaged for the final "Seinfeld" telecast in 1998.

Meanwhile, to ensure that both advertisers and TV viewers get the most out of "Everybody Loves Raymond's" final episode--the series' 210th--the network Monday unveiled plans for a multi-platform marketing and publicity campaign, which kicks off this week.

The effort--designed to prove that everyone does indeed love comedian Ray Romano's autobiographical character--includes a vote on CBS.com for viewers' all-time favorite episodes; on-air tributes by celebrities such as "King Of Queens" star Kevin James to basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; heavy promotion on Viacom radio and cable properties.



The "Raymond" finale will also receive co-marketing support from CBS's 200-plus affiliated stations, as well as special "Raymond"-themed content on CBS' "Eye on America."

CBS is also pulling out all the promotional stops with the network's Viacom cable network siblings, including VH1, Comedy Central, and Nick at Nite.

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