Oscar TV Ad Sales Sizzle

ADD Jan 27-the motion picture academy revealed in a disclosure as a non-profit that it nets $89.6 million from last year's Oscars telecast and other Oscar-related sources.
By Robert Marich
   Jan 10 2013-Advertising sales for the Feb. 24 Oscar telecast are brisk, according to Advertising Age, which attributes strong demand comparison to recession-depressed rates in the past year and a belief a revamp this year will pull viewers.
   The performance of the Oscar telecast is of keen interest to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences because it generates most of its operating income from the ABC Television rights fee.
   The Ad Age story by Brian Steinberg suggests that advertisers are paying $1.65-$1.8 million per 30-second commercial, versus $1.6-1.7 million last year. In 2008, the same ads fetched $1.82 million, which was the last telecast before the recession, and dropped to $1.3 million the following year. Every year, the Oscars among TV's priciest commercials, though ads in the Super Bowl are about twice the price.
   This year, the telecast will be hosted by humorist Seth MacFarlane, who is creator of the Family Guy TV series and R-rated raunchy blockbuster comedy film Ted. Recent hosts include Billy Crystal, Anne Hathaway and James Franco.
   The Ad Age story also says that the motion picture academy is open to integrations—where advertisers get some presence in the show itself. Samsung and Apple are sponsors of the Oscars.
   Viewership rises and falls based on the popularity of front-running films for Best Picture, and the slate of Best Picture nominees has been expanded this year to nine films, from five in the recent past. “In 1997, for example, approximately 55 million viewers tuned in to see the crowd-pleasing Titanic win Best Picture,” says the Ad Age story. “Yet in 2003, when Chicago won the honor, only 33 million watched. Oscar ratings hit a new low in 2008, when just 32 million tuned in to see No Country For Old Men win the big prize, down from about 38.9 million the year before.”
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