On-air Oscar spots sold out

The roster of advertisers vying for space during the Academy Awards show is complete. CTV sold out its on-air spots yesterday. Other shows based on the Oscar's, such as eTalk and the Oprah Winfrey Oscar Special are almost sold out as of press time.

CTV sold out its on-air spots for the Academy Awards yesterday. As of press time, media buys were still available for broadband and online features of the net’s Academy Awards promotional coverage, as well as shows bracketing CTV’s Oscar-studded schedule, including the specials from Oprah Winfrey and Barbara Walters.

CTV would not name specific advertisers in the Academy Awards show this year, but the official broadcast sponsors are Rogers and Neutrogena.

M2 Universal president Hugh Dow tells MiC the going rate for a 30-second on-air spot this year was $100,000-plus (about the same as Global charged for its Super Bowl spots). South of the border, ABC sold out its Academy Awards on-air spots at the end of last week, reeling in big time marketers such as AT&T, Bank of America, Careerbuilder.com, Coca-Cola, Dove, General Motors, J.C. Penney, Kodak, L’Oreal, Masterfoods, MasterCard, McDonald’s and Microsoft for what’s been dubbed the ‘Super Bowl for women.’

Last year, one in three Canadians tuned in for the Academy Awards, with the broadcast peaking at almost six million viewers. CTV reports the 2006 awards show was Canada’s most-watched program of the year, with an average audience of 5.1 million viewers (2+). In the end, with a reach of 11.5 million, nearly one out of every three Canadians watched some part of the three-hour and 32-minute broadcast on CTV. In the US, last year’s Oscars attracted an audience of almost 39 million people.

CTV’s online and broadband push for the Academy Awards is extensive this year, with some interactive features. A microsite sponsored by Rogers, Oscars.CTV.ca, is running clips of the nominated flicks alongside news, interviews, an interactive Oscar timeline, and an Oscar quiz.

CTV is also using the site to promote the ‘You Be The Judge Contest,’ where players try to pick the actual award winners for a chance at a $1,500 Future Shop shopping spree and the eTalk ‘Oscar Bleacher Seats Contest,’ where players can win a chance to sit in the red carpet bleachers at next year’s Oscar show. On Oscar night, the site will feature live story updates, red carpet clips, backstage photo galleries and updated video content on the eTalk Broadband player.

The CTV Broadband Network will include eTalk at the Oscars coverage, along with interactive polls that give viewers the ability to vote on the best- and worst-dressed red carpet appearances. Throughout the 8:30 pm-11:30 pm main events, the broadband player will also give online viewers backstage access via blogs and video of the media room, where journalists grill the winners.

On-air, CTV is serving up Oscar features on multiple affiliated programs. eTalk has an exclusive interview with host Ellen DeGeneres scheduled for its pre-Oscar special in Friday’s 7 pm time slot. The show is airing ‘Road to the Oscars’ reports every night this week, and eTalk will present 30- and 60-second updates direct from Hollywood throughout the net’s primetime schedule on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

eTalk at the Oscars will begin at 6:30 pm on Sunday, including live celebrity arrivals, and run up to the awards at 8:30 pm ET. Canada AM is filling the 6:30 am time slot this week with the results from CTV’s first-ever Canadian Film Media Oscar Poll (Wednesday), Canadian nominees and fashion critiques (Thursday) and a ‘breakfast bonanza’ live in downtown Toronto (Friday).

CTV is also airing Barbara Walters’ annual special, and presenting the one-hour Oprah Winfrey Oscar Special in Saturday’s 8 pm time slot, which features Jamie Foxx interviewing Sidney Poitier, Nicole Kidman questioning fellow Aussie Russell Crowe, and Julia Roberts chatting with her former co-star, George Clooney.