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How much does it cost to advertise on UK TV? Here's what Channel 4, ITV and more charge for slots


By Rebecca Stewart, Trends Editor

February 22, 2017 | 5 min read

As the likes of Facebook continue to muscle in on UK TV ad spend, The Drum takes a look at how much it actually costs to buy a slot on some of the UK's most popular channels.


How much does it actually cost to advertise on UK TV? Here's what you'll pay for ads on Channel 4, ITV and more

Last week Facebook unveiled a set-top TV app to host video content in a move that could soon see it compete with platforms such as YouTube as well as traditional TV channels.

While TV remains a central part of the mix, there's no denying that digital ad spend is leapfrogging it at a superheated pace, and eMarketer predicts that by 2020 online ads will account for 60% of marketing budgets while TV will represent just 21.5% - a decline from the projected 25% slice anticipated this year.

However, there is an ongoing debate in the industry about the transparency of the digital ecosystem. Both YouTube and Facebook have come under fire for issues around data and brand safety and while pre-Brexit jitters pervaded the conversation around brands' 2017 TV budgets, the Broadcasters Audience Research Board (Barb) claims that the average UK viewer watches 45 TV ads a day without skipping.

Studies maintain the popularity of TV as a platform, with Americans watching 5 hours of TV per day and their European neighbours still tuning in for at least 3 hours. And with news on the recent forays into developing addressable TV for use, we see the continued relevance of television for advertising purposes.

Although it's clear digital will continue on its path to domination, the effectiveness of TV is still likely to be a hot topic over the next 12 months. As such The Drum has pulled together a rundown of the estimated costs for brands looking to stump up for a TV slot using data from independent TV planning and buying agency Guerillascope.

The figures below provide a guide to the average cost of a 30-second slot on each network, though pricing can change throughout the year.


itv ad cost

A 30-second ad during ITV's breakfast schedule between the likes of Good Morning Britain or Lorraine costs between £3,000 to £4,000 on average. For a daytime slot, ads of the same time length come in at £3,500 to £4,500, while a peak rate alternative can cost anything from £10,000 £30,000.

Channel 4


On average Channel 4 is cheaper than ITV. A 30-second slot on daytime TV can cost between £1,000 to £2,000. Peak rates during shows like Hollyoaks or Catastrophe clock in at £10,000 to £20,000.

Channel 5

channel 5 ad cost

Channel 5 is the cheapest national ex-terrestrial channel to advertise on according to Guerillascope's estimates. The typical cost of a day rate ad is £800 to £1,600. A peak time slot - which can be purchased for breaks during programmes like Neighbours or Big Brother - can cost between £2,500 to £4,500.

Sky 1


The approximate cost to advertise on Sky One during daytime shows like Stargate Atlantis can be anything between £150 to £250. A 30-second slot during peak time between the likes of the Simpsons can cost anything from £650 to £1,150.

Sports channels


Rates for a half-minute-long ad vary widely depending on the type of sport, the type of advertiser and even the team that’s playing. For instance, a Chelsea v Arsenal match will have a totally different price to Sunderland v Hull. The average estimated cost of a 30-second slot on Sky Sports during peak time can fall anywhere between £60 to £750. Daytime rates for the channel come in at £10 to £50. Eurosport's rates are a little different. The channel's peak rate ads clock in at £100 to £150, while day rate campaigns cost between £50 to £100. A early peak time slot on BT Sport will come at a price between £20 to £200 for advertisers while a night time slot, like those offered during the NBA Action cost a modest £5 to £30.

Other digital channels

horror channel 2

Big brands are no stranger to buying spaces on Channel 4 or Sky 1, but away from the more popular channels there are a few digital alternatives which offer ads at lower rates for those on a budget. For instance, slots on the Horror Channel start at £50 to £150 for a day rate and go up to £150 to £300 for a peak rate ad, which would run during programming like the 1993 version of Attack of the 50ft Woman. Meanwhile day rates on Animal Planet, E! and Hum all come in at between £0 to £50.

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