‘Breaking Bad’ Finale Chalks Up Huge Ad Payday — How AMC Squeezed Every Last Drop Out of Its Runaway Hit

Sep 30, 2013  •  Post A Comment

For advertisers seeking to reach viewers of AMC’s "Breaking Bad" finale, the price skyrocketed to levels rivaling episodes of top broadcast series, going as high as $300,000 to $400,000 for a 30-second spot, Jeanine Poggi reports in Advertising Age.

That pricing puts the show in the same realm as broadcast hits such as "American Idol," the piece reports.

Some media buyers were able to swing broader deals to bring the price down to the $200,000 range, but even that represents a large jump from AMC’s typical ad rates, Poggi notes.

"The network has worked hard to maximize its revenue from the final weeks of the series." Poggi writes. "In order to secure a spot in any episode during the final half of the show’s fifth season, AMC asked marketers to guarantee that they’d buy a large amount of other ads, such as movies on AMC or time on sibling channels like We TV and IFC, according to the buyers."

The report adds: "The $300,000 to $400,000 price tag would put the ‘Breaking Bad’ finale in contention with regular episodes of some of broadcast TV’s most costly shows, but it still pales in comparison to some big broadcast series finales. ABC asked around $900,000 for ads in the series finale of ‘Lost’ in 2010, and broadcasters sought more than $1 million for commercials in series finales of ‘Seinfeld,’ ‘Friends’ and ‘Everybody Loves Raymond.’ CBS charged about $450,000 for a 30-second spot for the series finale of ‘M*A*S*H’ all the way back in 1983."

Poggi also notes: "Ads in recent episodes outside of the finale ranged between $130,000 and $140,000 in the so-called ‘scatter market,’ according to a buyer, and cost less than that in the annual upfront negotiations that precede each TV season."

The finale of "Breaking Bad" aired last night, Sunday, in an extended 75-minute episode, with AMC reporting that a series-record 10.3 million total viewers tuned in.

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