It pays to have “Friends” like these.

NBC expects to reap $70 million from the final night of “Friends,” thanks to advertisers who are shelling out a record $2 million for 30-second spots. That’s a new mark for an entertainment show, and just shy of the $2.3 million price tag for a Super Bowl spot.

The sitcom world has not seen such hoopla since the “Seinfeld” farewell in 1998, when 30-second commercials went for $1.7 million.

NBC has sold out nearly all the spots for the “Friends” final episode, set to air May 6, capping the show’s phenomenal 10-year run. Advertisers ponied up the big bucks because they expect more than 30 million homes to watch Monica, Phoebe, Chandler, Ross, Rachel and Joey one last time.

The ending of the series has been shrouded in mystery. Key scenes of the final episode will be shot this Friday without an audience.

NBC is not the only one getting rich off “Friends.”

Stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer – after threatening a walkout – have each gotten $1 million per show the past two seasons.

With 24 episodes last season and 18 shows this year, that means each cast member earned a mind-boggling $42 million in the last 18 months.

In addition, the six will be raking in tens of millions of dollars from worldwide syndication rights for the rest of their lives.

NBC is puffing the “Friends” farewell as much as it can. The network will air an hour show featuring clips of past episodes before the hour-long finale.

Ads on the clips show have gone for $1.25 million apiece. The two programs together will bring NBC $70 million in one night, according to the trade publication Broadcasting & Cable.

Advertisers bid up the price on the “Friends” finale because it is seen as a rare sure thing at a time when network TV audiences are shrinking.

“People are going to want to see the show that night and talk about it the next day,” said Kris Magel, manager of national broadcast at media buying firm Optimedia International.


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