Oscars 2009: Cheaper Ads, Steeper Accolades

With gold prices high, those little statues aren't cheap.

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With the announcement of nominations today and the kick-off of Oscars season, I couldn't help but wonder about the cost. Do the Oscars exist in a bubble, shielded from the recession?

Maybe not. According to Advertising Age, ABC is cutting the price of an advertisement during the Academy Awards to a low, low $1.4 million--down from $1.7 million--to lure more advertisers. And for the first time, the network will run movie ads, which were previously banned. The idea is to fill gaps left by big advertisers that dropped out last year (and presumably may not return), according to Ad Age. It might be hard to lure advertisers, though, considering that the number of viewers fell to 32 million last year, down from 40 million in 2007.

On another note, the price of the gold-plated Oscar statuettes hit a record $500 last year as gold prices skyrocketed to $950 an ounce. Gold isn't quite as high this year--it's traded between $800 and $890 since the beginning of the year--but those little statues will still be pretty steep.