Local TV Political Ad Spend So Far: $1.15 Billion
NEW YORK: The election is
everything it promised to be for TV stations, which collected $1.15 billion in political
ad spending as of Sept. 30, analysts at Wells Fargo reported. Adding network and
national spot increases the total to $1.33 billion.
Of the $1.15 billion spent through Sept. 30 at the local-station level, 42.2 percent
was on presidential campaigns; 36.9 percent for congressional; 17.7 percent on ballot
issues; and 3.2 percent “driven by” presidential and senatorial advertising, the
WF analysis of Kantar Media data said.
The total expenditure for the month of September alone was $304.6 million, up from
$240.9 million in July and $141.9 million in August, the WF team said. Sinclair,
Gray Television, LIN TV and NBC-owned stations have the most exposure in hot political
markets, they said. The top five markets with the most exposure as a percentage
of market revenue are Butte-Bozeman, Mont. (DMA # 189); Great Falls, Mont. (DMA
#190); Sioux City, Iowa (DMA# 147); Davenport, Iowa (DMA #100 ); and Glendive, Mont.
(DMA #210). Sinclair, Gray, LIN and NBC have the greatest exposure in these markets.
The top five in terms of absolute dollars are Washington, D.C. at No. 1 (DMA #8);
Cleveland (DMA #18); Las Vegas (DMA #40); Tampa, Fla. (DMA #14); and Orlando, Fla.
(DMA #19). NBC, News Corp., CBS and Sinclair have the most exposure in these larger
The Wells Fargo team said they first issued their prediction for the political advertising
landscape on Jan. 3, saying Sinclair and LIN were best positioned for the season.
Estimated take for both was raised by 6 percent in early September.
“At this point we are comfortable with these expectations.” they wrote. “However,
we may update this forecast as the election season continues to develop.”