Fool's Gold

FOB:Fool's GoldAre those big tv entertainment awards shows with ho-hum ratings still worth it? Not for everyone in these recessionary times. Other than that, go and enjoy your pricey tv purchase.

"For a long time, the Oscars and the Grammys were must-buys in the first quarter," says Brad Adgate, senior vice president and corporate research director for Horizon Media. "But now those shows are starting to get hit with the same kind of audience fractionalization that other regular primetime shows get."

Last year on abc The Academy Awards earned a slim 10.7 rating among 18-49 viewers, while The Grammys took in a 6.5 rating among 18-49. Both all-time lows.

Still, the media math may not be all bad for marketers. The Academy Awards is currently pulling in $1.7 million to $1.8 million for a thirty-second commercial for abc, at around a 20 household rating and 32 million viewers. cbs' Grammys grab around $750,000 for a thirty-second commercial and 17 million overall viewers.

"With the exception of a handful of shows and the nfl playoffs, these numbers are still better than any regular primetime shows," says Adgate.

Both awards shows still cater to women viewers - who make up 60 percent to 70 percent of these shows' respective total viewership. For years, the higher-rated Academy Awards has been called, "The Super Bowl for Women," and as such, many cosmetics, retail and fashion advertisers have regularly spent major dollars in the event.

After years of small, independent movies grabbing most of the Oscar metal, the big movie award show could see a ratings comeback this February. It's expected that big box office, widely-seen hits such as Warner Bros. The Dark Knight will get plenty of nominations, as well as one for the late Heath Ledger, ratchetting up interest on red-carpet night.

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