After two years of struggling to maintain pricing, sales of commercial time for this month’s Academy Awards telecast have rebounded sharply, with ABC fetching prices at near-record rates.
The network confirmed Thursday that it has sold out its available inventory in the glittery Feb. 27 award show. The network is fetching about $1.7 million per 30-second spot — a haul that could help the network achieve revenue of more than $80 million for Hollywood’s biggest night of the year, according to advertising insiders.
“If ABC does reach that level of $1.7 million per spot, it would be the high water mark,” said Jon Swallen, senior vice president for research at Kantar Media, which tracks advertising spending. “They’ve never quite reached an average price of $1.7 million before.”
Total revenue for last year’s telecast was $70 million, Swallen said. ABC collected about $1.3 million to $1.5 million per spot in 2009 and 2010.
If the award show pulls in $80 million this year, it would be a huge relief to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which relies heavily on the television money to finance its annual operations and stage the Academy Awards.
Last year’s strong ratings for the Oscar telecast have helped to fuel sales this year. An average of nearly 42 million people viewed the program last year, producing Oscar’s largest audience in five years.
Advertisers including JC Penney, AT&T, Coke, Sprint, Procter & Gamble, Hyundai, Nokia, Amazon.com, Anheuser-Busch, McDonald’s and Best Buy have bought spots in this year’s telecast, according to ABC.
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