The National Football League, by far the most popular U.S. professional sport, dominates Advertising Age's annual list of the 10 broadcast TV shows with the most expensive commercial time. When it comes to scripted shows, "Empire" is that category's priciest and second overall.
The most expensive commercial time, the trade publication found, is NBC's (CMCSA) "Sunday Night Football." It averages $603,000 for a 30-second spot, which is actually down 4 percent from the previous year. Commercials on "Thursday Night Football," seen on CBS (CBS, parent of CBS MoneyWatch) and the NFL Network, finished third, fetching $464,625, also down 4 percent from a year earlier (all figures are mentioned here are according to Ad Age and are for 30-second spots).
Time on ESPN's (DIS) "Monday Night Football" goes for around $400,000. However, given it's cable-TV programming, it's not included in Ad Age's top 10 list.
"Empire," which tells the story of hip-hop impresario Lucious Lyon, had the second-most expensive commercial time, fetching $464,364. It's a bright spot for 21st Century Fox (FOX), which has struggled to attract viewers to its Fox network in the face of the plummeting popularity of "American Idol." The singing competition show's 15th season, starting in January, will be its last. Commercial time on "Idol" goes for $147, 826, a 39 percent drop from a year earlier.
CBS continues to profit from "The Big Bang Theory." The sitcom's commercials ranked No. 4 on the Ad Age list, fetching $348,300, up about 1 percent from the previous year.
ABC, which like ESPN is owned by Walt Disney, scored big with "How to Get Away With Murder," a drama about Annalise Keating, a charismatic law professor who teaches a course with the same name. Viola Davis, who plays Keating, recently became the first African-American woman to win the Emmy for Best Actress in a Drama.
Its commercial time was the 5th most expensive on Ad Age's list, averaging $252,934, a 73 percent increase over last year. That's the biggest gain of any show. Two other ABC hits -- "Modern Family" and "Scandal" -- finished in 7th and 9th places, with average commercial times of $239,993, and $224,509, respectively.
NBC's singing competition, "The Voice," finished 6th and 8th on Ad Age's list. Commercials shown on the show's Monday broadcast go for $240,502, and on Tuesday's show they cost $233,720.
The network's hyped new drama "Blindspot" -- which landed in Ad Age's No. 10 spot -- is shown after "The Voice." It's the story of a woman who doesn't know who she is or why she's covered in tattoos that are warnings about upcoming terrorist attacks. With commercials costing $209,700, it's the most expensive new show.