Skip to Content

ABC ad rates for Oscars 2016 are astronomical

87th Annual Academy Awards - Backstage And Audience87th Annual Academy Awards - Backstage And Audience
A general view of Oscar Statuettes backstage during the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. Photograph by Christopher Polk — Getty Images

Ratings may be down for the Oscars, but the cost of advertising during the show certainly isn’t: ABC is looking to collect a record $2.2 million for a 30-second spot during the 88th annual Academy Awards.

Variety reports that ABC is almost done selling ads for the Feb. 28, 2016 telecast, and what is left will cost buyers north of $2 million. Earlier this year, the network was demanding between $1.8 million and $2 million for a half-minute ad.

ABC’s ability to collect such rich fees underscores how important the Oscars remain to the advertising community, despite its dip in viewership. This year’s telecast, which featured Neil Patrick Harris as host, was its lowest-rated among adults 18-49 since 2008. It also averaged 37.3 million viewers, the show’s smallest audience since 2009.

But the Oscars can still reach a broad – and huge – audience, much to the continued delight of Madison Avenue. And advertising during the three-hour (or longer) telecast is more exclusive for companies than, say, buying time during the Grammys or the Golden Globes, because the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences limits the amount of commercial time during the Oscars, Variety reports.

This piece was originally published on Entertainment Weekly.


More from Entertainment Weekly:

Oscars producer says there will be two hosts for next year’s ceremony

Academy hires Django Unchained producer and Emmy winner to run Oscars

Beasts of No Nation director Cary Fukunaga talks Idris Elba and the power of Netflix