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Ad Prices Down Sharply in Scatter Market: SQAD

(Image credit: IronHeart via Getty Images)

TV advertising prices dropped sharply in April due to the COVID-19 crisis at the big three broadcast networks, compared to first-quarter rates, according to ad data company SQAD.

Rates for ads in the scatter market dropped 39% to an average unit price of $101,927 for 30 seconds in primetime on ABC, according to SQAD. At CBS, pricing was down 34% to $130,858. NBC’s prices fell just 13% to $94,070.

SQAD noted that the prices are getting closer to upfront levels than they’ve been in years.

NBC’s upfront unit prices were $92,716 for primetime 30-second ads according to SQAD.

Most networks indicated that the sharpest drops in ad revenues are likely during the second quarter. Most were optimistic that ad demand would start to pick up in the third quarter.

SQAD bases its data on transactions made by advertiser clients.