National TV Ad Prices Surge In October, Follow Seasonal Demand Pattern

By: Joe Mandese
December 16, 2015

The price of national TV advertising time jumped 21 index points between September and October, following a historic pattern of increasing demand heading into the holiday marketing season, according to the Real Cost Index, a collaboration of MediaPost and media industry ad cost tracker SQAD.

The national TV cost index — which was set to a baseline of 100 in January 2009 — rose to a 143 in October, its second-highest level for the month and the highest for an October during a non-quadrennial year. October’s index is up 33 points from a 110 in October 2014, but is three points lower than its high of 146 index in October 2012.

Most of the improvement in national TV ad demand appears to have benefited cable networks. The national cable cost index rose to 154 in October — up 21 points from 133 in September.

While broadcast network TV’s index value remains higher — 177 in October — it expanded at a slower sequential rate, rising just 11 points from a 166 in September.

Powered by SQAD NetCosts, The SQAD RealCost Index indexes real advertising CPM data for Broadcast, Cable and National TV and illustrates trends in advertising costs over time. National broadcast and cable data is derived from negotiated buy side transactions.

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