Is Modern Family Worth the $1.4 Million NBCUniversal Paid?

Modern Family

Are you a fan of ABC’s (NYSE:DIS) hit comedy series Modern Family? If you are, beginning September 24, you’ll be able to catch the show on not only ABC, but also NBCUniversal’s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) USA Network in an expensive, $1.4 million per episode gamble from NBCU’s head of cable advertising, Linda Yaccarino.

Yaccarino, who took over as NBCU’s head of cable advertising in 2011 after serving as Turner Entertainment’s (NYSE:TWX) top sales and marketing executive, has already been able to sell high on the potential of the series to ad buyers, but the question remains as to whether cable audiences will tune in enough to warrant the high price tag. Adweek reports that after intense negotiations, Yaccarino was able to obtain double-digit CPM increases over the slot’s previous occupant, NCIS.

CPM, which stands for cost-per-mile, is a commonly used measurement in advertising that compares the relative efficiency of different advertising opportunities through a benchmark of 1,000 viewer impressions. Yaccarino reportedly was able to leverage a higher price on the promise that the Modern Family acquisition would perform similarly to shows such as The Big Bang Theory or Family Guy. But it’s definitely a gamble for NBCU’s USA Network given that the network has long been a destination for crime dramas such as NCIS, which Modern Family replaced in its time slot.