Toby Canham/Getty Images
Lynette Rice
October 15, 2015 AT 09:43 PM EDT

Ratings may be down for the Oscars, but the cost of advertising during the show certainly isn’t: ABC is looking to collect a record $2.2 million for a 30-second spot during the 88th annual Academy Awards.

Variety reports that ABC is almost done selling ads for the Feb. 28, 2016 telecast, and what is left will cost buyers north of $2 million. Earlier this year, the network was demanding between $1.8 million and $2 million for a half-minute ad.

ABC’s ability to collect such rich fees underscores how important the Oscars remain to the advertising community, despite its dip in viewership. This year’s telecast, which featured Neil Patrick Harris as host, was its lowest-rated among adults 18-49 since 2008. It also averaged 37.3 million viewers, the show’s smallest audience since 2009.

But the Oscars can still reach a broad — and huge — audience, much to the continued delight of Madison Avenue. And advertising during the three-hour (or longer) telecast is more exclusive for companies than, say, buying time during the Grammys or the Golden Globes, because the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences limits the amount of commercial time during the Oscars, Variety reports.

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