# Re: How much would it cost if viewers paid for each TV show? -- Re: commercials, DVRs, refrigerator breaks, etc.

"dgates" <dgates@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
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On Tue, 30 Dec 2008 00:38:26 -0800, "Charles Tomaras"
<tomaras@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

"Alan" <nospam@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
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It seems that if we have to pay, and get *more* commercials, or not pay
and get fewer commercials, we should follow that trend to having the
provider
pay us, and we get no commercials.

I'd be really curious to find out how much we would have to pay our
providers for commercial free television. How much would it cost them to
purchase the programming from the producers and turn the same profit they
are today without the advertisers. I don't know but it make for an
interesting comparison.

If I'm reading correctly, you're wondering how much it would cost if
each viewer or each household just paid a fixed dollar amount to watch
a commercial-free show.

(My preliminary guess, based on the rate that the network websites
charge, is that each household would have to pay \$1. But let's see.)

I'll try some very SWAG-gy ballpark estimates. I don't know all the
numbers, but I could get started.

An hour-long show has about 16 minutes worth of 30-second commercials.
Or 32 commercials.

I'd need a number to estimate how much the advertiser -- let's say, a
national advertiser -- pays for a 30-second spot.

Here's the first (random) result of my Google search for "cost of a
30-second commercial":

It's from 2002, but what the heck. I'll pick a number near the top,
just for the simplified math. About \$250,000 per commercial on a
successful show.

Multiply that by 32 and you get \$8 million.

Now, I need an estimate as to how many people, or how many households,
are watching these popular shows. This looks accurate enough for my
purposes:

http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/news/nielsens-charts.htm

It would seem that 8 million people might reasonably watch a popular
show, although I would take a guess that we should divide that by 2,
since a lot of people watch shows with their families.

If we're imagining a system where each household pays a certain
amount, then, using my phony baloney numbers, each household might
have to pay \$2 in order to raise the \$8 million needed to air a show.

I could be off by a huge amount in my figuring, but \$2 per hour-long
show seems like more than I think people would pay. For Lost or
Pushing Daisies, that would come out to over \$8 per month; isn't that

For a full season, they'd pay \$44 to \$48 -- maybe about what they'd
pay for a DVD set...?

http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Complete-Season-Matthew-Fox/dp/B00005JNOG

But at the end of the season, they wouldn't own the DVDs.

Again, perhaps my math is way off somewhere. Maybe it's as low as 50
cents per episode per household, with zero commercials.

I like the idea, but I'm not seeing how it could work.

Your numbers are correct or at least close enough.
They agree with the numbers we used at the Advertising Research Federation
committee which was looking at this issue.

However, look at the back side of this... those costs are built into every