Marketers who may have been hoping to get a zero-hour deal on an ad unit in the Oscars are out of luck, as ABC on Thursday announced it has sold out the last of its available inventory in the March 4 broadcast.
The sellout was made official two weeks after Disney-ABC TV Group ad sales president Rita Ferro told Ad Age that the network had locked in commitments for 98 percent of the commercial time in the 90th Academy Awards. In a new statement, ABC said Ferro and her team have set a record for Oscars ad sales revenue, with the overall haul topping last year's take by as much as 9 percent.
According to media buyers, the going rate for a 30-second spot in this year's Academy Awards maxed out at around $2.6 million a pop, although most of the advertisers that ponied up for time in the big show paid anywhere between $2.3 million and $2.5 million per unit. In any event, ABC's pricing marked a significant premium compared to the average unit cost of $1.9 million in last year's broadcastan estimate furnished by Standard Media Index.