For eight of its 12 seasons, Fox’s American Idol has been the most-watched show on television, and has demanded massive ad prices because of it.
Adweek’s Anthony Crupi breaks down the numbers. Only when you know exactly how much money Fox is making from Idol does all the media attention paid to the show start to make sense:
All told, last year’s flight of Idol episodes generated a TV-high $836.4 million in ad revenue. According to Kantar Media, that was about $100 million more than what the show raked in during Season 10.
This just an amateur singing contest, after all. And yet it commands the better part of $1 billion a season in ad fees. Idol brings in that money because of its massive audience. In some seasons, it was more widely watched than the NFL:
Idol is averaging 13.3 million viewers per episode this year, season 12.
In Season 5, it delivered 30.3 million viewers.
30-second ad prices in the final 16 episodes of Season 11 averaged out at $491,781 each.
This year, as ratings for the still-huge show have shrunk, ads are going for $350,000 apiece.
Read the whole story here.