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Air Time

Let's get your Cheap TV Spots® ad on the air!

We Schedule TV Air Time Everywhere, All Over The Country.

Broadcast, and cable TOO! Any network that accepts commercials. Nationwide, Regionally, or Locally in YOUR Neighborhood!

These network logos are presented just as a sample of the many network choices for airing your TV commercial. All logos are trademarks of their respective owners.

air time cost

Buying Air Time For Your New Cheap TV Spots® Commercial

When you get your commercial made through our studio, we work with the networks on your behalf to negotiate the best deals on air time to suit the budget that you desire.

It does not cost you more to buy your air time through us, or any media buyer, because the cable and TV stations give agencies a discount that they do not give you as an individual advertiser. We are compensated for our services via that discount. This is how you, our advertiser, can benefit from our network connections, knowledge of television air time, and resources without paying extra for that expertise and work.

Why go DIY when you can get full service without paying a penny more?!

Our team will notice when spot prices are high or low, and can recommend channels, programs and time slots that maximize your campaign investment. By not charging a per-airing premium on air time, and providing our famous flat-fee production options, we grow long term relationships with our clients.

We've placed commercials on well-known cable TV networks such as ESPN, CNN, FOX NEWS, MTV,VH1, Comedy Central, Tru-TV, SyFy, ABC Family, Lifetime, A&E, E! Entertainment, History Channel, MSNBC, Nickelodeon, HGTV, DIY, FOX Sports, Bloomberg and many more. Air on local affiliates, or nationwide -- satellite TV, too. Over-the-air broadcast TV networks like NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX, in your local viewing area, or nationwide.

You've got your commercial - we'll get you the air time.

Cheap TV Spots® NEVER charges additional commissions for air time.*

You can buy as little as 1 month (or even a week) of airings at a time - NO LONG TERM CONTRACTS.

Get your advertisement on Broadcast or Cable TV - WHERE YOU NEED TO BE... without breaking the bank.

*There is currently a small processing charge for air time purchases under $1,500.

Have a TV commercial already made elsewhere, and just want to air it?

Advertisers who wish to air a TV commercial via our Cheap TV Spots ultra-discount method can find out more on our Air Time Only page.

Start with our Evaluation Service: FIND OUT IF YOUR AD IS READY FOR PRIME TIME! $99. Includes detailed report.

IMPORTANT: These days, networks are turning down more new ads than ever (they always love ours, though!)

We've reviewed lots of commercials submitted for airing that are, quite frankly, not ready for prime time (or any time). Seems like everybody and their dog has access to cheap video equipment, and the web is littered with part-time, weekend videographers with a boatload of poor taste, and zero broadcast TV experience. Others are exerienced cameramen, or worked in TV years ago, but aren't up on all aspects of TV commercial production.

Networks love our Cheap TV Spots® productions because we know the current technical and content standards -- and we build every ad to meet those standards.

Why you need ad evaluation: In a word, "CLEARANCE." All networks conduct a review of each ad before airing, and say "no" to those that don't comply. Networks cannot legally air a commercial that does not meet certain technical specifications and content standards. Our Evaluation helps you reduce the chance of rejection by working the bugs out before we present the ad to the networks.

Broadcast TV standards are not what you think. A large number of video producers today assume they're getting things right, yet fail to comply with FCC technical rules or are ignorant of laws and customs governing content. Shooting with a brand new camera and editing with new software isn't enough. There's more to it. A LOT MORE...

The networks love to air good-looking ads - it makes the network look good, and keeps people from changing channels. Crappy ads? Not so much.

We offer a low-cost, TV commercial evaluation service to closely, objectively examine your ad, and advise you in how to bring your ad up to broadcast standards before the networks see it. We evaluate the ad for technical standards, as well as those harder-to-gauge aspects, like broadcast acceptability, and effectiveness. Some commercials just plain do not meet community standards (despite what you saw on that "Girls Gone Ga-Ga" commercial). Other ads, made by amateurs, simply don't get the point across. Trying to air such ads just results in frustration for you. Let us help!

Not sure where you should air?

Cheap TV Spots® is here to help, with recommendations and schedule negotiation. Unlike most agencies, there are no extra commissions and no retainer fees required.

People often ask us the same questions:

  1. How much should I spend?
  2. How many spots do I get for X amount of money?
  3. What's the ROI for advertising on TV? (How much will I make if I spend X dollars?)

OKAY.  Let's answer these.

1.) How much should I spend?  

Depends.  How much you got?

No, seriously.  The "technical answer" is that you should spend at least 5 to 10% of your gross profits (the money coming in before you pay any bills) OR your projected gross profits, if you're just starting out.  Not all businesses are created equal, and your business may need to advertise tons more than this, just to get noticed.  BUT, there's definitely such a thing as spending too little on TV advertising, like buying one single, local airing in a month.  Not gonna do it.

How Much Should I Spend? (CHART)

2.) How many spots do I get for X amount of money? 

Quite a lot!

Kidding aside, no respectable seller of air time can tell you exactly how many spots you get, without a bunch of details about your campaign: which network(s), how much money we talkin' 'bout [see question #1], when do you start and how long do you stay on the air, do you want to get fancy and go on a particular show, are we talking the whole USA or just Downtown Dallas?  One thing's for sure, EVERY AIR TIME SCHEDULE IS DIFFERENT.

Just as a house doesn't cost the same in every town in America, air time varies from place to place, time to time, and network to network.  We'll sort that out for you.

3.) What's the ROI/CPM for advertising on TV? 

If there was an absolute, etched-in-stone answer to this, we wouldn't be having this discussion because the Big Guys would have all the air time locked up for themselves.

ROI: Return On Investment. Your return on investment depends on the demand for your product or service in the marketplace and the amount of advertising you do. Outside forces (competitors, events, trends) can also change the picture.

If returns on advertising dollars could be calculated exactly in advance, air time would be a whole different ball game.  We have all read those hot business books like "Seven Thrifty Habits of Rich Guys" and learned exciting terms like "return on investment" (ROI), so we're all pumped up to get out there and ask the tough questions.  The truth is, to find ROI for YOUR business, you'd have to do some mega-research and number-crunching. Ready for a little homework? Find a business just like yours in size, product type, and so on. Find out how much they spend to get one customer. OKAY, got it? Now, just spend what they're spending, maybe a little more.

CPM: Cost Per Thousand. Some networks get more viewers than others. The number isn't hard and fast. Even the networks get surprised sometimes. Finding the lowest cost for the greatest number of viewers is exactly what we manage for you.

Air time dollars, like all advertising dollars, are an expense of doing business. Each business is unique -- there isn't a chart showing that x-dollars of advertising always produces y-dollars of income. One thing is for sure - the less you spend, the less you get.

Since most of us aren't lucky enough to have a "mole" in our competitor's accounting department, the best bet is to spend what you can afford, based on your calculations from question 1, and adjust your air time expenditures to what works for you.

Air Time Services - What We Offer

Airwave Orchestration Service - Targeted Air Time Campaign Management for no additional fee - we're paid a small fee by the networks for the air time we book on their behalf.

TARGETED BUYING - We can help you reach the most important audience for your product, and strive to use your air time budget wisely. We're more than order-takers. We look at your product, audience, and budget, and fine tune an approach that will get you the best airings to meet your needs. Targeted Buying means you get the most efficient, effective schedule for your money. AND WE DO ALL THIS WITHOUT CHARGING YOU HOURLY CONSULTING FEES.

AIR ANYWHERE - We're NATIONWIDE! We get you on the air locally, regionally, or nationally. We can air you ANYWHERE -- NOT just at one cable TV or broadcast station, or some batch of low power stations that nobody watches.

  • Cable or broadcast
  • Locally, regionally, nationally.
  • Popular networks such as CNN, MTV, ESPN, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX NEWS, Lifetime, Home & Garden, and many more.
  • NO "captive tapes" stuck at a single cable outlet or broadcast station.

WITHIN BUDGET - Tell us what you can afford, and we'll find the most cost-effective use of your advertising dollars. Many agencies won't even return your call unless you have $60,000 per month to spend on air time. We're not like that.  Not only will we talk to you, we'll spend as much time as it takes to explain the process along the way so you become a well-informed customer, and understand our choices and recommendations for your airing plan.

We've put many clients on the air nationwide for as little as $10,000 a month, or locally for as little as $2,000/mo. Schedules can be bought by the month. Air time campaigns typically run from 6-8 weeks to 1 year. (Prices for air time vary by location and season of the year, and are contingent upon availability.) 

NO LONG-TERM CONTRACTS - Unlike the networks and most other agencies, we won't lock you into a long-term monthly billing cycle of air time. We let you pay as you go, because this allows you, the entrepreneur, to be light on your feet, and respond quickly to your marketplace. No agonizing credit check, no long wait to find out if you qualify.

HOW WE WORK - We listen to you: who you need to reach, where you need to be seen. Then we find the best buy in airings, be they local, regional, or across the U.S. Then we place your air time order, and make all the arrangements.  Just like with our Production Service, we use our simplified Gumball Billing, which ensures you get on the air as fast as possible, without the haggling — or the hassle.

AIR TIME RESEARCH FOR NON-CLIENTS - Research is a time-intensive endeavor. We offer our research services to non-clients who are creating a marketing budget or business plan.

Air Time Research: Once your ad is ready to air, we can help you explore the cable, broadcast or satellite outlets where it could be aired. We offer a low-cost, custom service for those who need to find out rates in a particular area or on a specific network, or who would like an air time schedule that reflects current rates. Because air time research is a time-intensive process, we ask for a small fee - this keeps prices low for every customer, and gives us the ability to develop quality information for your campaign. This fee is waived for current TV production customers and advertisers who pre-pay for their air time buy.

Note: Air time is a commodity. The rates provided for a particular network or program do not guarantee that the quoted air time will be available for that price in the future. Estimates do not necessarily reflect the future price or guarantee the availability of future air time. The networks decide what will air and at what price when the completed TV commercial is submitted and approved.

Our Air Time Research service starts at only $99 per network, daypart or show.

Client-submitted TV Commercials - Have a completed production ready for airing? All television commercials must pass network "clearance" - a subjective content and technical review by the network or TV station. If you have an ad you want to air, you may want our Evaluation service. For just $99, we'll have our editors check out your production and let you know if your production is truly ready for broadcast - and we can get it in shape for you if it is lacking in some way (it happens more often than you might think).

As always, when you get a high-quality commercial made with Cheap TV Spots®, our air time assistance is included. Just set your airing budget, and let's go!


Cheap TV Spots® offers a generous license agreement that enables your spot to be aired on any broadcast, cable, or satellite system, when you schedule your air time through Cheap TV Spots®. (License is included with the Rapid-Ad production level and up.)

Because we are an independent advertising agency, not bound to individual TV networks or cable outlets, we can air your commercial anywhere you desire, as long as they have room, and they approve your ad.

Our air time media buying service doesn't cost you a penny extra, and in fact, we are often able to get you discounts that wouldn't be offered to you, if you approached the networks on your own.

Still want to book your own air time? -- Licenses for those wishing to book their own air time locally can be purchased for a one-time fee payable at commencement of production.

TV or RADIO - We'll Help You Get On the Air

Let the Cheap TV Spots® Team be your agency.  We can arrange your TV media buy.  If you already have a commercial ready for airing, we would be happy to help you.  Cheap TV Spot or not -- we'll put it on the air! (We can also book your Radio air time, too.)

Simply tell us your Air Time requirements:

  1. Your company name and product or service

  2. The length of your existing commercial (10, 15, 30, 60, 120 seconds)

  3. Your monthly air time budget (we work within your budget)

  4. Where (be seen in your city, region -- or go nationwide)

  5. Your typical or desired customer (men/women, age, interests)

  6. When you'd like to start (allow 3 weeks lead time for planning and securing your air time, in addition to any commercial production time.)

Be On the RADIO, too

We can book your radio air time, too. Just let us know what geographical market you want to be in, who you want to reach, your budget, and when you need to be on the air.  Our expert radio buyers will do the rest. We'll even help you get your radio spot produced, usually at no extra charge.

NOTE: TV commercial production is sold separately.

Air Time Secrets

Find out the secrets of buying air time the right way - visit our Air Time Academy!

CONTACT US for a no-pressure discussion of your TV advertising project.
No commissioned salespeople!  :-)

Let's Talk

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