“Lost” Finale Will Cost Advertisers Plenty

We’re at the point now with “Lost” where everyone would like to get to the series finale as soon as possible. Losties would like to have all their questions answered, so that they can finally sleep at night. And non-Losties would like the show to finally, mercifully end, so they don’t have to hear Losties drone on and on. That makes the show’s final episode one of the more eagerly awaited in TV history, and ABC is charging advertisers a royal amount to join the fun.

Brian Steinberg of Advertising Age reports that ABC will be asking for a whopping $900,000 for a 30-second spot on the show (Or $910,000 in the sideways dimension).

Buyers suggest ABC has been seeking between $850,000 and $950,000 for an ad berth. ABC executives declined to comment…

The series finale of "Lost" is slated to air as part of a three-hour block on Sunday, May 23. The 8 p.m. hour of the evening will be devoted to a recap of the mysterious show and the last episode will run from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The hefty cost -- the price is just $400,000 to $600,000 less than the cost of a 30-second spot in this year's Oscars broadcast.

The asking price for the “Lost” finale remains well below the cost of other recent series finales, including “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “Friends,” both of which charged over $1 million a spot. And while the price may still seem steep, I’d argue the $900K is well worth spending for advertisers. Not only will the finale get a ratings boost over previous episodes of “Lost” (people who dropped out of the show at certain points will probably return to see how it all wraps up), but fear of spoilers will make the episode DVR and DVD proof. Unless you are an idiot, you know full well that a single glimpse at Twitter or a newspaper the day after the finale will give away more than you need to know. Anyone who wants to watch the “Lost” finale will likely watch it live, and TV events like that are growing rarer by the second.

In fact, when you think about it, is there any other show on TV right now that will command as much fan and media interest in its finale as “Lost?" Maybe the original “CSI,” if it ever goes off the air. Maybe “24.” That’s really about it. It could be that, with serialized shows dying off, “Lost” represents the very last of the highly anticipated series enders. And that’s why it’s gonna cost your local toothpaste company 900 large.

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