Lots of brands do. And they want to buy ads that air during the NFL. AND, they want to buy ads that air during the NFL at night on network television. In primetime. How do I know? It all goes back to the Benjamins….

AdAge recently published their annual report on the price of 30-second commercials during primetime television. If you check their September 25th issue, writer Jeanine Poggi does a wonderful job breaking down the costs of commercial time during shows on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and the CW.

If you really want to buy ad time during primetime slots but are strapped for budget, you do have options. The CW has the cheapest slots of the lot by far: a :30 spot during Jane The Virgin runs for only $23,400. Not too bad for a sly hit with a 0.5 Nielsen rating among the 18-49 crowd.

For under $100K, you can buy a :30 spot during some really well-known programs, such as 60 Minutes, The Good Wife¸ or The Amazing Race (all on CBS, coincidentally). The evening news specials, 48 Hours, Dateline, and 20/20, also feel like bargains – none of them cost over $63K per spot.

If you are really ready to spend the big dollars on primetime TV and advertise during shows like The Blacklist, The Big Bang Theory, or The Voice, better have $275K-$350K per spot on hand. That adds up fast; not many brands have $3.5 million lying around to air 10 commercials during TBBT over a 10-week stretch.

Of course, when I say big dollars, I’m only talking about “regular” television. Want to dip your toe into the NFL space? You better have done a good job saving up, because ad rates for the NFL dwarf the numbers cited above. A single :30 spot during Thursday Nght Football on CBS will cost you about $483K; a similar spot during Sunday Night Football on NBC will run you $627K. You can buy ten – 10!!! – :30 second spots during ABC’s Shark Tank for the same cost as one SNF spot.

Neither NBC nor CBS have any trouble selling their high-dollar NFL inventory, though, because many people are watching and warranting the cost. Example: 2014’s TNF opener drew over 17 million people to CBS. NBC regularly scores ratings at or around 12.0 or 13.0 for its NFL broadcasts.

So, next time you wonder how and why networks pay so much for media rights, now you know: the story starts with ad rates.

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