March 3rd's "20/20" broadcast on ABC, featuring a 2-hour interview with Monica Lewinsky, is costing advertisers an average of about $400,000 per 30-second commercial, buyers said. That's quite a come-down from the $750,000 to $800,000 per :30 ABC was originally asking, though still a significant premium above the $160,000 buyers have been paying for "20/20" according to the annual Advertising Age survey of program ad rates. Earlier in the week, some buyers reported they were able to get on the show for $325,000 to $350,000 per :30; the price was said to be closer to $450,000 the day before the broadcast. Some movie studios may be paying as much as $600,000 per :30. "ABC has also filled a lot of inventory with make-goods," one buyer said. Make-goods, or audience deficiency units, are time given free to advertisers because the ratings of programming previously purchased by an advertiser were lower than the network had guaranteed.
Copyright March 1999, Crain Communications Inc.