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Are You Aware of these TV Advertisement Terms?

Jun 25, 2020 | Newspaper
TV Advertisement Terms

Everyone is aware of TV advertisements and the fact brands indulge in one to reach their target audience to increase the sale of products/services. However, as an advertiser, especially as a first-timer, you'll come across various terms from your salesperson. You might hear terms like reach, frequency, ratings, or network penetration. Hence, here are the terms you must be aware of if you are planning to release a television advertisement.


TV Advertising Terms 101


Reach is determined as the number of unduplicated audiences who watch a program or collection of programs during a specific time period.


Share is defined as the per cent of total households or people who are watching a particular program, network, or station at a specific time.


Frequency is the number of spots you’re booking within a certain period of time that will be watched by the viewers. A rule says that a customer requires to watch your advertisement 3 times to memorise it. Hence, ensure that you’re running enough ads to enable your customers to remember you before buying your products/services.


When it comes to buying spots for your TV ads, you have to have knowledge of your businesses demographic. The demographic is defined as the audience structure based on factors such as age, sex, income, education, household size, occupation, etc.


TV sweeps are defined as the time period when rating surveys are sent to local markets to calculate the program viewership. Sweeps happen 4 times a year (February, May, July, and November) and last 4 weeks of respective months.

Cable Advertising

When it comes to buying ad spots on the cable channels, be sure that it will not enable you to reach a huge number of viewers. Businesses get confused and think that they will get the major channels which are not the case. These channels usually get less viewership and hence, you need to buy more slots to experience the same reach as you would with a Primary Network Ad.

Cost Per Thousand (CPM)

The cost per thousand (CPM) is the cost incurred to reach 1000 people with your ad. It is extensively used to analyse the relative cost-efficiency of different programs, stations, or media.

Coverage Map

The coverage map is defined as the percentage of homes or people getting access to a particular broadcast signal within a specific geographic area.


There are two metrics based on which TV stations sell spots utilizing two metrics- rating and daypart. Daypart is defined as the set time period that is utilised by all TV stations to support segments and give value to their time slots.

The default dayparts are:
●    Early Morning 5:00am-9:00am
●    Daytime 9:00am-3:00pm
●    Early Fringe 3:00pm-5:00pm
●    Early News 5:00pm-7:00pm
●    Prime Access 7:00pm-8:00pm
●    Prime 8:00pm-11:00pm (M-Sat) 7:00pm-11:00pm (Sunday)
●    Late News 11:00pm-11:30pm
●    Late Fringe 11:30pm-2:00am
●    Overnight 2:00am-5:00am


An impression is the number of homes or individuals who will probably see your advertisement. It is also referred to as “total universe”.

Gross Rating Points (GRP)

Several television advertising agencies who indulge in buying TV spots ask for a schedule that meets a defined number of Gross Rating Points (GRPs). Hence, GRPs are the sum of individual TV show ratings on an advertiser’s commercial program without regard to duplication.


Penetration is the proportion of families owning televisions or subscribing to cable. It is consistent across Primary Network Stations within a certain market, but Primary Network compared to Cable penetration will not be the same within a market.


Rating is the percentage of total and tuning in to a specific TV show or station at a particular time. Each rating point is equivalent to 1% of the population within the coverage area.

Run-Of-Schedule (ROS)

To reduce excessive cost, many advertisers and traditional advertising agencies will take a share of their ad spend and indulge in a Run-Of Schedule campaign.

A ROS campaign simply implies that the ads fall in any daypart and on any show. It enables the TV station to run your ads with flexibility when there are open time slots that haven’t been sold.

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