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‘X Factor’ Ad Rates Drop Following Lower-Than-Expected Ratings

Simon Cowell
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

If you thought there were a lot more commercials during your ‘X Factor‘ fix last week than during the premiere, you’re right. The Hollywood Reporter says that the singing competition serenaded 12.2 million viewers so far. While that’s certainly a respectable number, it’s a far cry from the purported 20 million that producer/judge Simon Cowell hoped for in order to avoid a “disappointment.” Yikes!

The numbers are especially humbling when compared to the 25.2 million homes that ‘American Idol‘ reached last season.

FOX promised advertisers that ‘X Factor’ would reach 7.6 million viewers in the highly coveted 18-49 demographic, but the show’s come up short, with only 5.4 million of the group tuning in. Since the network couldn’t deliver on their promises to sponsors, advertising costs have dropped from over $400,000 for a 30-second commercial spot to as low as $280,000.

The show seems to be plagued by weather as disappointing as its ratings. Mariah Carey was unable to be Cowell’s guest judge when her plane was grounded during Hurricane Irene, and an ALCS rain delay pushed last Thursday’s episode to Sunday.

Despite the losses, ‘X Factor’ still boosted Fox’s Thursday night ratings by 59 percent, so they have to be doing something right. PepsiCo, the show’s biggest sponsor, still thinks so. A spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal, “We’re pleased with the total value we’re extracting from our partnership.”

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