What NBC Gave Up in Ad Pricing for ‘Leno’

By Andrew Gauthier 


Nothing may illustrate the risk inherent in NBC’s much-scrutinized launch of “The Jay Leno Show” than a hard look at the drop in ad prices the General Electric network managed to get in the program’s time slot this season.

A 30-second spot in “Jay Leno” costs between an average of $48,803 (Friday nights) and $65,678 (Tuesday nights), according to Advertising Age‘s annual survey of ad prices for the broadcast networks’ prime-time shows, negotiated during the upfront TV market. In contrast, NBC was able to secure ad prices of between $78,000 (for “Lipstick Jungle”) and $146,679 for programs that aired in its 10 p.m. slot Monday through Friday in the 2008-2009 programming season.


Indeed, NBC’s weekday prime-time ad prices in the 10 p.m. slot have slumped across the week. “Leno” commands an average of $53,640 for a 30-second ad on Monday nights; last season, “My Own Worst Enemy,” a scripted adventure drama starring Christian Slater, commanded an average of $98,909. More…