Advertising has sold out early for the upcoming Academy Awards, with pricing at a record high, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"Marking the earliest sellout in recent years, the ABC network has sold out virtually all of the available advertising for the March 2, 2014 Academy Awards, a source confirms to The Hollywood Reporter," the story reports. "ABC declined comment but the sources say that they have scored record prices [as] high as $1.9 million for a 30-second ad during the three-hour show, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres."
The previous record was just above $1.8 million for the 2008 ceremony — back in pre-recession times, the report notes.
"Prices fell after the global economic crisis hit, but this year are back to pre-panic levels and even above that," THR reports, adding: "The Academy Awards also are helped by scarce availability for ads. Under its deal with the network, the Academy limits the number of spots during the show to about 10 minutes per hour, well below the 14 minutes per hour on other shows."
Ratings for the annual event tend to fluctuate, at least in part based on the popularity of the movies and stars who are up for awards. "However, since the Academy went to 10 best picture nominees, and made other changes, the show has improved," the THR report notes. "In 2013, the telecast — hosted by Seth MacFarlane — drew an average audience of 40.3 million total viewers and scored an impressive 13.0 rating among adults 18 to 49. That made it the most watched entertainment telecast since 2010."