Which TV Shows Command The Highest Ad Prices, And How Much Does AMC Make On ‘The Walking Dead’?

How much does AMC earn for every episode of The Walking Dead? According to Variety, which has calculated the numbers on the 10 shows with the highest ad prices, The Walking Dead earns $326,000 per 30 seconds. Figuring around 18 minutes per episode of commercials, AMC looks to make approximately $11 million on first run episodes alone (not including DVD purchases, Netflix licensing, and merchandising). According to this THR piece, it costs about $2.75 million to make an episode of The Walking Dead (down from the $3.6 million during the Darabont era), meaning AMC makes a hefty $8 million or so for every episode of The Walking Dead. Not bad, not bad at all.

How about the other ten shows with the highest ad buys?

The two highest, of course, are Sunday Night Football ($628,000) and Monday Night Football on ESPN ($408,000), but even still, I’m not sure how profitable they are by themselves. NBC spends around $105 million for ONE game of Monday Night Football, so in order to break even, it would need to air 167 commercials, which comes to around 83 minutes of commercials (if my math is right, and my math is often not right). The NFL allows for ALOT of commercial breaks, but certainly not an hour and a half of beer spots (or nearly half the game). Obviously, NBC licences NFL games because they’re great tools for advertising its other shows, so it’s likely a loss leader.

And how about the rest of the top ten? Here’s the full list, from Variety:

1. Sunday Night Football (NBC): $628,000
2. Monday Night Football (ESPN): $408,000
3. The Walking Dead (AMC): $326,000
4. The Big Bang Theory (CBS): $317,160
5. American Idol (Wednesday) (FOX): $281,600
6. The Voice (Tuesday) (NBC): $273,714
7. The Following (FOX): $264,300
8. The Voice (Monday) (NBC): $259,240
9. American Idol (Thursday) (FOX): $257,926
10. Modern Family (ABC): $249,025

Among new shows, those Thursday night comedies on CBS fare the best, with The Millers commanding $176,000 and The Crazy Ones commanding $173,000. The Blacklist, which follows The Voice commands $176,000.

(Source: Variety)