I want to advertise a product via direct response TV featuring an 800 number. I plan to spend $30,000 for testing over a 10 day period in the U.S. market.
I called this company I found online to inquire about the cheap TV spots offered on their site. They suggested I allocate the entire budget to air on cable networks via national satellite, which has a subscriber base of 8.6 million. They quoted the cost of a 30-second spot on a top tier network airing in overnight at $80 and in daytime between $175 and $225.
Having never heard of national satellite advertising, I tried to investigate further on the web. The only info I found came from a discussion group upset about a TV show on Sci-fi being canceled back in February 2000. They were discussing how to place an ad during the show's last episode on satellite and had uncovered basically the same rates I was previously quoted.
I also found your answer to a like question asked around the same time (Monday, April 24, 2000, #3415) in which you replied, "you may be looking for something that doesn't exist".
You further explained that "national ads on cable networks are sold by the networks as national and run as the network is carried, whether the viewer receives the program through cable or a SATELLITE receiver. Local, cable-originated advertising runs in time slots reserved for local use. These "local" slots, about 2 minutes per hour, could theoretically be sold nationally by the SATELLITE carriers".
You then, however, gave numerous reasons why even that wouldn't work.
My question is this: Three+ years later, has anything changed? Is the media buy I described now a viable option? If it is, would this be the way to go or would I be better off putting it on national cable? I would appreciate any other information you care to share on this subject, be it advise or referrals.
Today, there are spots available on DirecTV and Dish Network. The prices you cite are about right (as one-time rates) for DirecTV, the larger one of the two, with about two-thirds of the satellite market.
From your question, you seem to be looking for the cheapest "national" spots you can buy, so Dish Network may be the better choice.
"Top Tier" may as well not be a consideration, since you are persuing minusucle audiences, at best.