‘Friends’ renewed

Dec 30, 2002  •  Post A Comment

NBC’s deal to renew “Friends” for a 10th season for up to $10 million per episode, sealed a few days before Christmas, will likely wind up a winner, financially, for NBC overall.
The new deal keeps the most popular show with the crucial 18 to 49 audience on NBC’s “Must-See” Thursday night lineup, and it is the halo effect from “Friends” at 8 p.m. (ET) that makes the deal such a financial key for NBC.
NBC pulls in about $455,700 per 30-second spot, according to Electronic Media’s sibling publication, Advertising Age. Thus in total, the show brings in about $7 million to NBC coffers every week.
The new deal is said to be for only 18 episodes instead of the usual 22.
So to understand why NBC would pay the highest license fee for a sitcom in TV history, examine the key ad rates NBC can then get for the rest of its Thursday night lineup. Indeed, according to Ad Age’s annual September national price survey, “ER,” “Will & Grace,” “Scrubs” and “Good Morning, Miami,” all of which followed “Friends” when it premiered this season, were among the 10 shows getting the most money per 30-second commercial on TV.
Furthermore, NBC’s owned-and-operated TV stations, which are in some of the nation’s biggest cities, are able to charge premium ad rates-especially to movie studios-on Thursday nights, thanks to NBC’s “Friends”-generated ratings success.