Live TV Musicals Attracting Big Dollars from Advertisers
Advertisers are eating up show tunes.
Commercials in the upcoming live performances of NBC's "The Wiz" and Fox's "Grease: Live" are fetching over $300,000, according to media buyers and other people familiar with pricing.
"The Wiz" is costing around $340,000 for a 30-second spot while "Grease: Live," is running about $310,000, according to averages from several media agencies. But those numbers can fluctuate and in some instances, a 30-second spot could run more than $350,000.
Thos figures would make these performances among the most expensive programs on TV this season, according to Ad Age's annual pricing chart. This is on par with hit shows like CBS' "The Big Bang Theory."
There's always been an allure for live programming. But as more viewers watch content on a delayed basis or on other platforms and devices, live programs are one of the few opportunities to amass the large number of eyeballs marketers crave. NBC, in particular, has been eager to create as much appointment-viewing as possible, airing the comedy "Undateable," live this season.
The peacock network started what has now become somewhat of a Christmas tradition in 2013 with its live special of the "The Sound of Music" staring Carrie Underwood. That telecast was watched by more than 18 million viewers. Just about half that amount, 9.2 million people, tuned into "Peter Pan Live" in 2014.
Hoping to boost ratings this time around, NBC has brought in some star power, including rappers Ne-Yo and Common, Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, "Glee's" Amber Riley and "Orange is the New Black" star and Emmy winner Uzo Aduba, to star in "The Wiz." The production will air on Dec. 3.
Fox has also tapped popular names for its version of "Grease," which will air on Jan. 31, with Vanessa Hudgens set to star as Rizzo and Julianne Hough from "Dancing with the Stars" playing the role of Sandy.