Even When It Loses, ‘American Idol’ Is Tops on Madison Ave.

Apr 7, 2010  •  Post A Comment

It’s natural for ABC to brag about its "Dancing With the Stars" beating "American Idol" last week in the ratings, when the dancing competition pulled in 23 million viewers to the 21.8 million viewers watching "Idol," writes Bill Carter in the New York Times.

After all, NBC trumpeted its own "Idol"-topping feat in February when one evening of Winter Olympics topped the singing-competition juggernaut.

Yet "Idol" remains on top of the advertising game in a way that "Dancing" can’t touch. "Idol" commands $624,000 for each 30-second spot this season, compared with $209,000 for "Dancing," according to figures from that show’s edition last fall edition, the paper says.

Why the difference? "Idol" tends to attract younger and female viewers, while "Dancing" is older and female and especially popular with women over 50 years old. No matter what the overall ratings numbers, advertisers are simply willing to pay more for the younger audience tuning into "Idol," the article says.

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