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Wednesday, April 28, 2004

The One Where All The Friends Make A Mint

The Times: The one where all the Friends make a mint

It will be the most lucrative 60 minutes of television. The much anticipated final episode of Friends — which ends a ten-year run of the quirky sitcom — is expected to ring up $40 million (£22 million) in advertising revenues for the NBC network, or $6.6 million for each of the six “friends”.

Advertisers have pushed up the price of 30-second slots to $2 million, nearly as high as the $2.3 million record for this year’s Super Bowl. Pepsi, Hewlett-Packard and Walt Disney are planning to advertise.

Executives say the price reflects the increasing difficulty of reaching large groups of viewers: multichannel television and the internet have fragmented audiences.

As many as one in four Americans is expected to tune in to the May 6 finale, which was taped on January 23. British viewers will have to wait until May 28 to see the farewell episode on Channel 4.

I know I will be watching, will you?


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