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ABC’s Oscars Advertising Slots Nearly Sold Out

The network asks for $1.9 million for a 30-second spot in the program

Advertisers have flocked to snatch up commercial space during the upcoming 2015 Oscars telecast on ABC, individuals with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap.

ABC is nearly sold out for advertising space during the telecast on Feb. 22, 2015. This year saw a slight increase over last year’s Ellen DeGeneres-hosted Oscars from $1.8 million to $1.9 million for a 30-second spot. That would generate about $100 million for the network.

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With returning producers, Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, a slight uptick in the cost to advertise can be partially attributed to first-time host Neil Patrick Harris (“How I Met Your Mother,” “Gone Girl”).

That’s the small picture. The big picture is that time on event TV like the Oscars and football is coveted for its live viewing numbers. Last year’s Oscars telecast drew an average audience of 45.4 million total viewers, delivering a 13.7 rating among the advertiser-coveted 18-49 (Live+7), and reached 74.6 million viewers watching six or more minutes, the best since 2004. The Oscars were TV’s most-watched entertainment telecast in 10 years and attracted the biggest viewership in 14 years. The show helped drive increases for the second consecutive year, marking a seven-year high for adults 18-34 with a 3 percent increase; a nine-year high for Teens 12-17, an increase of 13 percent) and an eight-year high for Kids 2-11, an increase of 13 percent.

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Advertising space on the Academy Awards also reaches the show’s younger viewers who are more prone to act on marketing messages, spend their parents’ disposable income and share their thoughts on social media. Last year’s show saw a 20 percent increase over last year among the younger-skewing 18-34 demo, its highest performance in that demo since 2007.

ABC declined to comment on Oscar ad sales.