DATA REPORT: Is “Megyn Kelly Today” Costing NBC Ad Dollars?

DATA SOURCE: SQAD MediaCosts: National (NetCosts)

Since Megyn Kelly made her transition from The Kelly File on Fox News to Megyn Kelly Today on NBC, many outlets have reported ratings declines for the 9:00 AM Today Show block. The question posed to our Data SQAD is, “What is the financial impact of Megyn Kelly Today for NBC?”

The Data SQAD went into our MediaCosts: National database to see how Kelly is performing in terms of unit costs and found some insight that reveal the financial side of the reported story.

To get a sense of how the ad value of the show performed in real-time (beyond initial upfront buys), our team pulled the scatter data from when Kelly started in the 9:00 AM slot on NBC in September 2017 through April 2018.




  • When Megyn Kelly Today premiered on NBC in September 2017, unit costs for the 9:00 AM block initially saw a 22% month-over-month drop – this may not be related to Megyn Kelly and may represent inventory commitments already in place prior to her premiere.
  • From October 2017 to November 2017, average unit costs spiked 62% from $11,275 to $18,255.
  • The show experienced an 18.5% ad cost dip from January to February 2018, which is likely related to Olympic coverage.



Since Kelly’s premiere on NBC, November 2017 – April 2018 shows an aggregate 7% increase year-over-year. Looking at yearly trends by month:

  • In November 2017, unit costs were 12.6% higher year-over-year
  • December 2017, 12.5% higher
  • January 2018, 17.2% higher
  • February 2018, 14% lower (possibly due to the Winter Olympics)
  • March 2018, 3% higher
  • As of April 2018, the show continues to bring in higher year-over-year scatter unit costs, averaging 11% higher than April 2017.


For context, the graph below shows the unit cost volatility of both scatter and combination for the 9:00 AM programming block on NBC since Kelly’s premiere in September 2017.


Although much of the reporting around Megyn Kelly Today is focused on her ratings, it would appear that NBC is looking at stronger revenues for the 9:00 AM time slot with Kelly at the helm. If she can continue to beat the year-over-year numbers, and maintain a solid base of loyal viewers, it’s unlikely NBC will pull the plug any time soon.