Oprah Winfrey show has been a staple diet for a large base of loyal viewers and hard core Oprah fans. The way she has built herself up into a brand is astonishing. She is way up near the top even amongst the success stories. Her show is coming to an end after a very long run and the expected viewership is going to be extremely high. You can estimate the viewership from the fact that the series final is commanding $1 million for a 30 second spot. That is an unheard of figure for a talk show that is broadcast during the day.
Even if you compare the rates with finales of popular soaps that broadcast during primetime slots only two or three would have commanded a higher price for a slot. Of course Friends still holds the record as the advertiser paid up to $2.4 million for a 30 second spot on the final episode. The pricing is obviously dependent on the estimated viewership. The numbers of eyeballs decide the price. The final episode of Friends was watched by over 50 million viewers. No other show on TV has been able to replicate that kind of following.
Oprah Winfrey is a major power player in the industry but the staggering amount she is able to pull for her daytime final show reaffirms her position in the industry. Horizon Media has done a comparative study of figures some of the populr shows finale could get. ‘Ally McBeal’ commercial spots went for almost half the price at a little over half a million. ‘Lost’ finale pulled in $900,000 a spot. ‘Cheers’ and ’24’ finales cost $650,000. It is difficult to imagine that Oprah will vanish from television but it will be interesting to see what she does next. Whatever she does it is bound to be on a grand scale.