24: Last Episode Bringing Big Bucks for FOX

24FOX’s 24 TV series is coming to an end and the network is trying to make every last cent that they can from it. Now that the show’s officially ending, the network is charging big bucks to advertise on the last episode.

A high-action drama, 24 has been running for eight seasons and revolves around a sometime government agent (Kiefer Sutherland) who does whatever he has to do to defeat terrorists. The current season’s cast also includes Mary Lynn Rajskub, Anil Kapoor, Annie Wersching, Cherry Jones, Chris Diamantopoulos, Freddie Prinze Jr., Jennifer Westfeldt, John Boyd, Katee Sackhoff, and Mykelti Williamson.

Last month, FOX, the studio and the producers mutually decided to end the series at the end of this season. You would think that that would have given a boost to the ratings in the last couple weeks but it hasn’t happened.

FOX still wants to make the most of the series finale so they’re now charging really big bucks to advertisers. At last May’s advertiser upfronts, commercial time for the last episode of this season went for an estimated $200k-280k per 30 second spot.

Will you watch the last episode of 24 live?

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For those who waited, the price rose to about $500k per commercial for the season finale. However, once it was announced that 24 was ending and it would be the series finale, the price rose to $650k for 30 seconds of airtime.

As is the case with the Lost finale, advertisers are always on the look-out for television events that are likely to be watched live. In an age of DVRs, there are fewer and fewer of these opportunities available and advertisers are willing to pay big bucks for them.

Had the network announced that 24 was ending earlier in the season, the network could have likely commanded an even bigger price-tag for the ads. However, it’s suspected that FOX actually didn’t have much open airtime to play with.

The two-hour series finale of 24 is set to air on Monday, May 24th, at 8pm.

What do you think? Is advertising on the series finale of 24 worth that much? Will you watch it live or watch on delay and skip through the commercials?

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10 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Thomas Small says

    I would love to watch “24” Series finale on live tv, but I will be stuck at work in the evening. I truly believe Kiefer Sutherland was really commited to playing this role & I never missed an episode or season because of his excellent acting skills. I always look forward to watching it on Hulu.com & will truly miss watching new episodes when it it would be on it’s on Monday nights schedule during the Winter & Spring months. The last 8 seasons have been truly great & I hope for all the cast & crew of previous & current seasons a great future to start unfolding in their favor.

  2. Jim says

    @admin: i can understand that. however, the struggles of “chuck” stem more from NBC’s incompetence rather than another show.

    do the networks evaluate how the shows do in other media (i.e. itunes, amazon, hulu..etc) when deciding to cancel a show??? or are they still clinging to the practically obsolete nielsen rating system????

    • says

      @Jim: They do take the other ways that you can watch a show into account however, they make very little money from them. The vast majority of the network’s income comes from people watching a show and its ads on TV.

  3. Jim says

    what is it with the “chuck better than 24″ or vice-versa arguments?

    they are two completely different genres. if you like breezy action comedies that never get “dark” then chuck is for you. if you like hard action (albeit sometimes a bit over-the-top) that is about as dark as you can get, then 24 is for you.

    if you like both genres (like i do) you like them equally (or pretty close…like your kids).

    • says

      @Jim: I think people are worried because the season finale of Chuck is on the same night as the series finale of 24. Chuck has been struggling in the ratings and a weak showing for the finale won’t help its chances. I personally don’t think it will have that much of an impact. The ratings for 24 haven’t gone up since it was announced the show was ending.

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