Oscar 2005: ABC Sells Oscar Spots at Record Price

Despite slower ratings of the 2005 Oscar show, compared with the year before, the Oscar telecast remains the second-biggest night on American TV after the Super Bowl, with strong showings among people who don't watch much TV”or don't go much to the movies either.

ABC has sold all the spots for its March 5 Oscar telecast. The network continues to get strong showing from advertisers for its 48 spots within the three-hour plus telecast, which begins 5pm PT (8pm ET). ABC will receive about $1.7 million per 30-second commercial, up from the 1.6 million in last year's telecast.

The list of advertisers was released on February 20 by the Academy. There are some newcomers to the Oscars, such as Coca-Cola and the Miller Brewing, though the majority are returning advertisers to the telecast, including the reliable American Express, AT&T, GM, Kodak, L'Oreal, Mastercard, McDonald's State Farm Insurance.

Rumor have been circulating in town that there will be other advertisers that ABC has not disclosed in its press release.

There has been an ongoing concern about the smallness of this year's Best Picture nominees, mostly independent film, such as Crash, Brokeback Mountain, and Capote. Nonetheless, since the Oscar spots are sold during the summer and early fall, before the nominations are announced (in late January), the nature of Oscar frontrunner has not had impact on the selling of spots.

Both the Academy and ABC hope for a boost in ratings due to choice of a new host, comedian and talk show host Jon Stewart, who follows comedian and actor Chris Rock, who emceed the show last year.

The ratings for Oscar night 2005 were down three percent to 42.1 million spectators and a 25.4 rating/38 share in national households.