ABC is pushing advertisers to pay more than $2.1 million per 30-second spot in the 2017 Academy Awards, sources tell Variety, even though last February’s broadcast was the lowest-rated in eight years and a producer and host for this year’s show have yet to be named.

According to a study done by Kantar Media, the price of an Oscar ad has increased steadily over the last five years. In 2014, total ad spending across the entire show was $95 million, with an average price per ad of $1.76 million.

Variety also reports that ABC has shown little room for flexibility: One media buyer said the network was recently willing to do a deal with a $2 million price tag, with ads typically going for anywhere between $1.7 million and $2.2 million in recent years.

“The robust pricing reflects advertiser demand for live TV events that can generate strong engagement in social media coupled with the desirable demographic profile of the viewing audience,” Kantar reported.

The coveted 18-to-49 demo is still lucrative for advertisers, despite the overall ratings dip. Adults aged 18-49 account for between 4 and 7 million viewers of TV’s biggest regular primetime broadcasts, which typically draw between 13 and 15 million viewers overall.

This year’s ceremony grabbed 34.3 million total viewers, down 6.2 percent from last year. That means 2016 notched the third fewest eyeballs since Nielsen began electronically tracking in 1992.

Both the 2015 and 2016 broadcasts experienced lower-than-expected viewings. The 2016 broadcast was enshrouded in criticism due in large part to a lack of non-white nominees, a phenomenon that became known on social media as #OscarsSoWhite, much of which comedian Chris Rock touched on while hosting the ceremony this year. In 2015, Neil Patrick Harris hosted the event.

Like most of this season’s awards shows, the rise of mobile, streaming and on-demand habits have impacted overall ratings figures, all of which have forced advertisers to aggregate a base of consumers across divergent streams of a single TV show.

ABC’s 2015 Oscars broadcast lured about $110 million in ad spending, according to Kantar, marking a 16 percent increase from the previous year. The average cost of a 30-second spot in the most recent broadcast grew 4 percent to about $1.78 million, according to data from Standard Media Index, compared with $1.71 million in 2015.

Oscar ratings often fluctuate each year depending on the mix of nominees, but there are other factors behind the Oscars’ ability to command higher prices. The Academy limits the amount of advertising time granted in the broadcast, so the commercials have a better shot of being unique. In 2015, for instance, the ABC broadcast of the awards contained about 29 minutes and 45 seconds of ads, according to Kantar, compared with 27 minutes in 2014. In 2015, the Golden Globes contained about 36 minutes of advertising and the Grammys contained about 40 minutes and 30 seconds.

General Motors, Kohl’s, Samsung, Johnson & Johnson’s Neutrogena, AARP and King’s Hawaiian were among the sponsors of ABC’s 2016 Oscars telecast.

READ MORE: Variety

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[Image courtesy of Variety]


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