Cable Mid-Show Commercial Rates Surpass Major Broadcasting Networks

It has been revealed that the rates for 15-second mid-show commercials for cable channel tvN’s representative variety programs “Three Meals a Day” and “Youth Over Flowers” have outstripped those of major broadcasting networks.

According to an advertising agency on January 25, “Three Meals a Day” and “Youth Over Flowers” both have mid-show commercial rates of 25 million won (approximately $20,700) for 15 seconds’ worth of advertising. The current highest rate for a major broadcasting network is the KBS drama “All About My Mom” at 15.3 million won (approximately $12,700).

The hit tvN drama “Reply 1988,” which scored a cable viewership record of 19.6%, had mid-commercial rates of 22.5 million won (approximately $18,600). In fact, the drama earned 17.1 billion won (approximately $14.1 million) through commercials alone.

During the course of an episode on cable channel, about 60 seconds’ worth of commercials will air one to three times. As viewers sometimes flip channels during the commercials, the rates for mid-show commercials are more expensive than those for before and after the show.

Some broadcasting networks do not permit mid-show commercials and will assign a 15% premium charge on top of the basic rate according to whether it is the peak or off season, or the start or the end of the show.

The tvN drama “Cheese in the Trap” has a mid-commercial rate of 15 million won while SBS’s “Six Flying Dragons” flies a little lower at 14.5 million won. MBC’s “My Daughter, Geum Sa Wol” and “Glamorous Temptation” post rates of 13.6 million won and 13.4 million won respectively.

MBC and SBS’s representative variety programs, “Infinite Challenge” and “Running Man” all have basic rates of 12.4 million won and 12.1 million won respectively, far behind the rates of “Three Meals a Day” and “Youth Over Flowers.”

JTBC, another cable channel, is chasing the rates of “Infinite Challenge” and “Running Man” (both high-profile, long-time shows) with the relatively new “Abnormal Summit” and “Please Take Care of My Refrigerator,” who have rates of 17.4 million won and 8 million won respectively.

Both cable channels and broadcasting networks also include less popular programs in a “package” deal with highly sought-after programs in order to appeal to advertising agencies. In tvN’s “Youth Over Flowers” and “Three Meals a Day” package, advertising agencies can also pay to have their commercials aired in the order they prefer. Their full package sells for about 300 million won, about the same rate as major broadcasting networks.

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