Political Spending on TV Spots Surges

Aug 10, 2012  •  Post A Comment

Spending on political TV ads soared during July, with markets in the Midwest in particular reaping the rewards, Deadline.com reports.

“Political pros took a keen interest in July in markets including Zanesville, Ohio; Sioux City and Davenport, Iowa; Charlottesville, Virginia; and Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada,” the story reports. “They saw the biggest increase in political ad spending relative to their market size in the month according to a report out this morning from Wells Fargo Securities’ Marci Ryvicker.”

Ryvicker, who closely tracks political spending, said political campaigns have spent a total of $765.6 million on television so far in 2012 (through July 29), the report notes.

“The vast majority of that — $579.6M — went to local stations, including $120.7M in July,” Deadline reports. “Of the local total so far in 2012, 42.5% was for presidential campaigns, 21.8% for ballot initiatives, 18.6% for Senate races, 7.6% for House contests, 5.0% for gubernatorial races, and 4.4% for other.”

The report adds: “The top markets measured by dollars spent are Cleveland ($24.8M); Los Angeles ($20.6M); Tampa ($19.4M); Washington, DC ($18.2M); and Las Vegas ($17.2M) — with much of the cash going to outlets owned by Fox, CBS, NBC, Sinclair, and Disney.”

Ryvicker notes that a more revealing measure is spending relative to each market’s total ad sales, which factors out the size of the market. “By that measure, Wausau, Wis., is on top with election ads accounting for 16.9% of total market revenue,” Deadline reports. “It’s followed by La Crosse, Wis. (15.9%); Sioux City, Iowa (15.0%); Zanesville, Ohio (13.7%); Charlottesville, Va. (11.9%); and Great Falls, Mont. (11.9%) — especially TV stations owned by Sinclair, Gray Television, and Gannett.”

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