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The booming TV commercial business: By the numbers
Forget the down economy and supposed ascendancy of cable — these are awfully good times for network TV advertising
 
Marketers are still paying big bucks for TV ad placement, with NBC's Sunday Night Football drawing the highest price, at $512,367 for one 30-second ad.
Marketers are still paying big bucks for TV ad placement, with NBC's Sunday Night Football drawing the highest price, at $512,367 for one 30-second ad.
Tanya Constantine/Blend Images/Corbis

The economy is in the doldrums, network TV is increasingly irrelevant compared to cable, and advertisers are scaling back like just about every other business — right? Not according to a few new surveys of the TV advertising market, which is actually growing. Sunday night is the most expensive night to advertise, followed by Thursday. Friday is at the bottom of the heap. And live TV shows do better than pre-taped ones. What else can we learn about cash-cow commercials? Here, a look at the numbers:

$512,367
Average cost to run a 30-second ad on NBC's Sunday Night Football

$502,900
Average cost to run a 30-second ad on Fox's American Idol on a typical Wednesday night

$640,000
Top cost to run a 30-second ad on American Idol, as the show nears its season finale

$320,669
Average cost to run a 30-second ad on Idol rival The X-Factor (Wednesday, Fox)

$29,000
Average cost to run a 30-second ad during CW's Nikita (Friday), a network primetime low

$2.7 million
Average cost to run an ad during Super Bowl XLII 

47
Percent of marketers who have upped their TV ad budgets since 2009

23
Percent of marketers who have cut their TV ad budgets since 2009

82
Percent of marketers who say TV ads are at least as good a return on investment as in 2009

57
Percent of advertisers worried about TV viewers being distracted by web surfing or text messaging

$20 million
The most expensive ad ever made, from Guinness

$3.2 billion
Predicted cost for all political advertising in the 2012 election cycle

20
Percent increase in TV ad spending predicted for the presidential race

Sources: Advertising Age (2), New York, Broadcasting & Cable, Masters in Advertising

 

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