According to TNS Media Intelligence, ABC made $72 million for the ad space it sold during the Oscars. Oh, and as TVWeek pointed out, that was for 26 minutes of advertising. That’s $2.8 milion per minute. The Super Bowl brought NBC $206 million for 44 minutes — which boils down to $4.7 million per minute. If the Oscars had 44 minutes of advertising and we apply the cost/minute ratio (1.69 x 76M), the show would have earned $128 million for ABC.
The difference is $78 million more for NBC — but when you consider how long each network aired Bowl/Oscar related content (before and after the game/show), the cost of obtaining the game/show right from the NFL and the Academy — it’s hard to say which is more cost effective.
One thing is certain — both were entertaining in their own right, and despite the economy we can expect next year’s festivities will bring in gobs of money — unless the economy is completely tanked. Like, dead. Special events like this will probably never cease to be money makers.