Ad Prices Soar for Final Jon Stewart 'Daily Show'; Arby's Buys Commercial Time

Jon Stewart Daily Show program for veterans

Over the years, Jon Stewart has poked fun at many corporations during his time as host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. However, there are no companies that seem to have taken the brunt of the comedian’s jokes more than sandwich chain Arby’s.

Now, with the longtime host's final show nearly upon us, it’s been revealed the fast-food merchant has bought ad space during Stewart's last episode… but it isn’t coming cheap. In fact, according to a new report, ad space on the farewell episode of the fake news program has soared in recent weeks to surprising heights.

According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal:

"Spots aren’t coming cheap. Marketers are forking over roughly $230,000 for 30 seconds of time in addition to agreeing to make a broader ad buy with channels owned by Comedy Central’s parent company, Viacom Inc., ad buyers said. The finale prices are up significantly from the average ad rates during the second quarter, which were roughly $46,200 for a 30-second spot, according to SQAD, a research company that tracks ad prices."

While Arby’s didn’t say how much they paid for a spot on the episode, one can assume it was a pretty penny.

Conan O'Brien The Late Show with David Letterman Farewell Tribute

This rise in ad price also explains the extended run time of the episode (beyond Comedy Central wanting to give Stewart time to say his peace). More air time means more spots to fill with ads, which ultimately means more money for Comedy Central. But, if it’s true that buying ads on Stewart's final episode comes with the stipulation that companies must also buy space on other Viacom-owned networks in the future, then, thanks to the hoopla surrounding the host's exit, everyone under the Viacom umbrella seems to be making out like bandits.

The world of late-night television has been through one shake-up after another over the last few years. Following The Tonight Show debacle, Conan O'Brien went from NBC to TBS, while Stephen Colbert went from Comedy Central to CBS, when David Letterman announced his retirement. And Stewart will now go from Comedy Central to who knows where (possibly a farm in New Jersey, if you believe Dennis Leary). In the end, Stewart's final episode is the conclusion to a long journey that has left many network executives scrambling to create the next phase of late-night comedy. Here’s hoping, though, that Stewart and Letterman have themselves a good laugh about the whole thing at a dive bar in New York City after tomorrow night.


The Daily Show airs weeknights at 11/10c on Comedy Central.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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