Are Ad Rates Directly Correlated to Ratings?--NBC Edition 1

Recently the ad rates this series were released (click here). Let's look at NBC now, and see how far off or close some shows' ratings may be from their relative standing in ad prices. For new shows, this is largely due to an over/under estimation of its ratings--for veteran shows, it may depend on expected trends, the demographics it hits, etc.

In the 2014-2015 TV season, NBC's scripted show average for fall series was a 1.3 (1.299 to be more exact). This year's average ad rate for a fall NBC show was $113,667, rounded to the nearest dollar. There were a wide range of numbers, from just under $48,000 (Undateable) to over $190,000 (Blindspot).

Since the rates aren't that different this season from last season, let's say NBC is expecting another 1.3 average. Let's see what the predicted ratings for the shows would be if the ratings and ad rates were directly correlated. The numbers listed are for the A18-49 demo unless otherwise noted.

-Blindspot: 2.18
-Chicago Fire: 1.62
-The Mysteries of Laura: 0.78
-Law & Order: SVU: 0.98
-Chicago PD: 1.36
-Heroes: Reborn: 1.47
-The Blacklist: 2.07
-The Player: 1.19
-Undateable: 0.55
-Truth be Told: 0.95
-Grimm: 1.15

When looking at these numbers, one thing strikes out: Law & Order: SVU is fractional at a 0.98. What should be noted is the hypothesis that the show deals with a somewhat controversial and adult topic for broadcast television, and as such may be priced lower since it isn't as appealing to advertisers. That may not be the case, but is a pretty legitimate hypothesis I have heard.

The Chicago shows have numbers a little lower than I would have expected, and it looks like NBC may have expected The Blacklist to get a fall bump (but never did). Also, I have to wonder why Undateable is even still on the air, considering that it has an ad price less than some CW shows and if these numbers are telling at all, NBC didn't have too high standards for it. Maybe it is because they didn't want to have to launch two new comedies on a Friday? Regardless, I'm not sure what they were expecting out of Truth be Told, but even though a 0.95 is pretty bad, its ad rate built considerably from the one of its lead-in. And Undateable doesn't have the touchy/adult subject excuse that SVU may have.

Now for my favorite part: naming the winners and losers of the season thus far:


-The Dick Wolf Shows
-The Mysteries of Laura


-Heroes: Reborn
-The Blacklist
-The Player
-Truth be Told

Honorable Mention


What do you think of these numbers? Are they an accurate telling of what NBC expects of these shows? Leave a comment and let us know!

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