Advantages Of National Cable TV
The landscape of National Cable TV is constantly changing. In the early days of cable tv many networks relied on syndicated reruns of Network TV Shows for programming. While many networks still rely on syndicated tv shows for programming some networks have created original programming to attract a dedicated audience. This includes networks that have created reality competition shows, new dramas, comedies and action adventure programs. In 2017 the TV lineup included widely popular shows like the Walking Dead on AMC, or Keeping Up With the Kardashians, series programs like The Real Housewives of (Insert City Here) or long running programs like South Park and Spongebob Square Pants even shows that are based on movies like 12 Monkeys and more. These original programs offer viewers alternatives to the network TV programs which generally have tougher FCC regulations which prevents them from being as edgy as the cable show can be.
Some of the programs on Cable TV actually outperform Network TV programs in weekly viewers.
Number 1 Cable Show Week of Dec 3 2017
The Walking Dead gets 7.5 million viewers weekly
Number 1 TV Show Week Of Dec 3 2017 (excludes Sports)
This Is Us gets 3.5 million viewers weekly
In years past the opportunity to advertise on cable TV was pretty straight forward. There were only 3 primary choices General Market, Direct Response and Local National Breaks. The General Market offered national exposure at guaranteed ratings and make goods if the ratings were not achieved by the program. Direct Response offers national exposure however at a lower rate per commercial airing however there are no make goods or guaranteed ratings for these types of ads. Finally there are local national breaks, these are national spots that may be covered up by the local cable provider if they sell the local market advertisement time. This is a little riskier as you will not know which markets see your ad however generally the rates are only 10-20% of a national spot rate.
Today the opportunity to advertise with cable TV networks has extended far beyond these three options to include new products including VOD, Streaming, below the fold and in program sponsorship to name a few. Video on Demand is an opportunity for the advertiser to reach those viewers who have not recorded their programs but want it on their schedule. These spots are sold at a CPM rate with the average running around $20-25 per 1,000 viewers of the commercial. This is a great option for someone who is looking to be associated with a particular show with a limited budget.
Now at this point I would like to advise against one of the pitfalls we have witnessed over our years. We have had multiple clients who have wanted to do a national campaign on cable TV and have been waiting on their commercial to be produced before advertising, and rightfully so. In the process of production they have spent $20,000 or more for their commercial. Then after getting their commercial produced they have presented us with budget of $5,000 for the entire advertising campaign. We have seen this multiple times. In each case we had to send the client elsewhere. At $5,000 the client was not putting enough funds behind the campaign to really get their message out. We knew that if we accepted their funds and campaign we would be blamed for the lack of success. We did not want this to occur, so we had to reject the opportunity to work with them. In each of these cases we have never seen the advertiser on any log report for any network nor have you ever seen their commercials. These clients did not have the success they wanted because they allocated their funds wrongly. If you only have a $25,000 budget you should spend no more than 10% or about $2,500 on commercial production leaving 90% for the advertising campaign. This still does not insure success however it does help to ensure that more eyes will see the advertisement.