By: Michelle Castillo
September 9, 2015
Stephen Colbert’s tenure on “The Late Show” has officially begun. But, it wasn’t just fans of “The Colbert Report” eagerly awaiting the comedian’s debut: Brands have been lining up to get ads.
A source with close knowledge of the situation said that 30-second ad spots during the premiere were going for about $175, 000. CBS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
By comparison, Adweek reported that advertising cost provider SQAD NetCosts placed rates at about $52, 000 per 30 seconds for late night leader NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” in the second quarter of 2015, while “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on ABC was around $24, 000. Colbert was pulling in about $50, 000 by the time his Comedy Central show went off the air in 2014. Neither NBC nor ABC immediately responded to requests for comment.
Part of what drove the prices up so high was excitement about the potential for a younger audience, especially compared to the crowd former “Late Show” host David Letterman drew. According to marketing firm Magna Global, Letterman’s average viewer was 60 years old. The average “Colbert Report” audience viewer was 44.
“It’s an opportunity to draw in some younger viewers, ” said Brian Hughes, Magna Global audience analysis practice lead and senior vice president. “Between Jimmy Fallon taking over ‘The Tonight Show’ and this, in a way it’s revitalizing late night.”