Academy Wins Oscar for Advertising Revenue

The Academy Awards, airing Feb. 28, is the biggest of the awards shows in terms of ad revenue.

Last year, according to Kantar Media, the Oscars generated $110 million in ad revenues for ABC. That tops the $75 million generated by the Grammys on CBS and the $42 million by the Golden Globes on NBC.

Kantar says that this year, 30-second spots in the broadcast are expected to cost between $1.9 million and $2 million, up from $1.83 million last year.

Other market sources say spots went for as much as $2.25 million. And despite controversy over a lack of racial diversity among the best actor and actress nominees, ad inventory has been sold out for months.

While the Oscars are the biggest, Kantar says that its advantages are diminishing. It’s escalating ad prices and ad loads are making competitors look more attractive, Kantar says.

Advertisers are also using regional TV buys to circumvent exclusive-sponsor arrangement in the network telecasts. Also many brands are creating second-screen experiences to compete for share of social media voice during the live broadcast.

According to Kantar, there were 29 minutes and 45 second worth of ad time in the 2015 Oscar broadcast. That’s up from 27 minutes in 2014 and 24 minutes in 2011. AMPAS, which hosts the awards, controls the amount of ad time in the broadcast.

In addition the broadcast contains 5 to 6 minutes of promotional spots for ABC and 7 to 8 minutes of local ad time.

Though growing, the broadcast isn’t as cluttered as other big events. The 2016 Super Bowl, which ran 3 hours and 43 minutes, had 53 minutes and 20 seconds worth of advertising.

Since 2011, the top advertiser in the Oscars has been Samsung, which has been in all five broadcasts and spent an estimated $61 million. JC Penney has spent $52 million over that same span, followed by Hyundai, American Express and Coca-Cola.

Penney won’t be in the 2016 Oscars and has been replaced as retail sponsor by Kohl's. Hyundai was replaced as auto sponsor by GM in 2014.

Kantar notes that there are six companies that have advertised in four of the biggest television events, the Super Bowl, the Oscars, the Grammys and the Golden Globes. Those were Comcast, Discovery Financial Services, Mars, McDonald's, Softbank (Sprint) and Walt Disney Co.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.