prof. e.

Mass Communication, [multi]media, methodology and much, much more!

Political Ads: Stimulus for Local TV Stations

Posted by prof e on November 2, 2010

Political advertising is finally coming to a close in most markets and you can hear the collective sigh of relief from nearly everyone. Everyone that is except for local TV stations who have been raking in the dough as candidates have spent a reported record $3 BILLION! Most of that money has been going to local TV buys and for most local stations the revenue has been just what they’ve needed to counter the hard-hitting recession. Besides major sporting events, e.g. Olympic games, Superbowls, World Series and college sporting events, political ads are a regular boost to TV stations’ budgets. But these are not always a sure deal. Just ask Fox who had the rights to the World Series this year. The  short series left a lot of advertising revenue on the table.

There are several reasons why so much money has changed hands. First, there were a lot of hotly contested races between Republican, Tea Party, Democratic and Independent candidates. Second, there was an influx of money from outside organizations such as labor unions and corporations. Just this past Spring a Supreme Court ruling (Citizen’s United v FEC) opened the door to more spending from outside interest groups. And third, there seem to be more and more candidates who self-finance their races. Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay, spent a reported $142 M of her own money.

In the end it all adds up to a big paycheck for TV stations around the country…including Colorado where the Senate race between Bennet and Buck is too close to call. So when you turn on the TV tomorrow, just think of all the TV station owners and managers who may be shedding a tear or two that the political spots are gone…at least for the next 18 months or so.

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14 Responses to “Political Ads: Stimulus for Local TV Stations”

  1. AJ Dome said

    Political ads are like tarantulas to me: they serve a purpose, but I don’t want one in my house.

  2. Alex Timmons said

    I’m really hoping the Sarah Palin camp continues to produce the high quality political ads she has of late. She’s mastering the ability to develop grass-root momentum and we’ll likely see her closely contest the Republican presidential nomination.

  3. Corey Caves said

    i too am relieved that the political races and ads are done. But it seems like every year the ads are more based on who can find the most dirt on there running mate, or who can make the best negative ad against their opponent. I feel like more people vote against some one, instead of for someone because people are spending big money to bash on there compeition. whoever can do that seems to win the race.

  4. Chelsea Brigham said

    The political ads are not only dramatic, but they are overwhelming replayed on TV. I for one do not own a TV here on campus, but i occasionally watch it in the dorm hall. Even on channels like MTV, and especially the main news channels like ABC, and Fox, I was actually bothered by how many ads i saw against Ken Buck. I had the spot memorized, and stuck in my head. Effective? to a point. Annoying? yes. I think political campaigns are an effective visual aid, but when they swarm our t.v’s they become counteractive because we reach a point where we don’t even care anymore about the ad, we just are sick of hearing “Ken Buck: too conservative for Colorado”.

  5. Amanda Donnell said

    I am so relieved that the political race is over and the ads are done for now. It seems like every year, more and more ads are being placed on television and are constantly replaying every few minutes. It is bad enough that we are subjected to thousands of ads on a daily basis. Although negative campaign ads are the ones that seem to get the most air time and have been proven to work, it is a shame that tearing one person down can lead to another person’s success in our society. It is also a shame that instead of going out and determining the facts for ourselves, it is easier to get sucked into the hype of campaign ads by not voting for someone based on what we remember seeing on television or voting for someone because they are the only person we remember hearing about. The simple ways of enhancing our own knowledge has seemed to disappear, especially with ads being forced in our faces during every possible moment available. Even though ads are annoying at times, they can provide entertainment and they also help others earn money that is essentially the money to support their lifestyles.

  6. Ashleigh Rhoades said

    Political campaigns do make money for T.V stations and radio stations but they get annoying after so long. I am glad the political ads are over they are a tad bit dramatic. I feel the ads are similar every year. They try to spend as much money as they can to create ads that are against each other. They try to make themselves look like the good guys but I think I makes them look like jerks either way.

  7. Athena Avalos said

    Frankly, I dislike political ads as much as everyone else here. I understand that politics are important, but there are more than just politics that should be getting coverage. It goes back to the agenda-setting theory that we learned about in class. When the media focuses on a particular subject, it gets overblown and other stories get dusted under the rug for a while. An example of this is indeed the Bennet and Buck campaign, which had even me, a high school student who cannot yet vote, talking about it with my friends and making it a concern. Although it is important to be thinking about (weather or not I can participate), I think there are more issues I as a teenager should be more focused on. Even older adults should not have to be subjected to that much of the political standard. With more political exposure, it becomes less of a free choice for the public and more of a pressurized system of phsycological brainwashing. I’m very happy it is all over with…for now.

  8. Chance Warren said

    It is beneficial for the TV stations to make money…however, as stated by everyone else before, political ads are irritating. It is interesting, the redundant technique of bashing a political opponent, no matter which political candidate it is. The technique is crude, deplorable, and petty…and facts are always negated. I remember many ads containing the words “______ voted against ________ (abysmally exaggerated number) times”. The absence of actual facts are neglected, and the policies being advocated are not advertised. It is disturbing how the effects of these ads affect people’s decisions to vote/not vote for a candidate. I agree with Amanda that people need to look past the ads, wherever they are, and look up the facts for themselves. Mass media can mislead and corrupt as easily as it can benefit and inform. People must be aware and see past the filters and see the truth.

  9. Erica Parsons said

    I think the money that was used for all this political campaigning is so ridiculous. 3 billion dollars! I could name many other issues that we could have used all that money for. The race between Buck and Bennett was absolutely unprofessional.
    Erica Parsons

  10. Alex Miller said

    I think that some of the money used for political ads is waisted. Some political ads are extremely aggressive toward the other canidates’ policies. I feel that political campaigining is organized sissy fights. Canidates do what ever they can to mock the opposing party just to gain a political advantage. I don’t think the media should support these political arguments because it effects the media’s overall outlook. Even though the media gains money and politicians distribute their politcal plans, I think that it would be best to not have political ads.

  11. Chelsy Smalley said

    Political advertising on TV is a great way to get people to vote for the candidate.Candidates have spent $3 billion. Most of the money goes to local TV buys. Political ads increase TV stations’ budgets. I think that it is crazy spending $3 billion dollars on campaigns. I know it is important to advertise when elections are around but most of the money should be spent on way better things. The campaigns on TV usually show the candidate talking about their goals and what they want to happen. Many times in campaigns candidates mudsling other candidates they are running against.When i see campaigns over and over on TV I change the channel because seeing the same campaign multiple times gets annoying because I already know what the candidate wants.

  12. Political advertising, Wow! $3 billion dollars, but we are in the trillions when it comes to debt. Advertising is a powerful tool and a lot of people are interested in political campaigns. What $3 billion dollars worth of spending says to me is that the U.S is not really concerned with all our debt, which will probably be one of the causes leading up to WW3. I am not sure if the rest of the public would agree, but I’m sure a good percentage would have my back. A cap should be put on the amount of spending that goes into campaign spending, unless candidates are willing to spend their own money to promote their campaign. At this rate the national debt will continue to rise, and like always taxes will increase and the debt will be put on us. If we really want to cut the debt down, tax the upper class more and stop allowing so many tax cuts. The end of American society will eventually be a result of greed, “the rich get richer, while the poor get poorer. It’s honestly a shame.

  13. Vanessa Emerson said

    Political adds always upset my day. The fact that we are struggling in so many areas as Americans but have the revenue to put a quick 30 second add on makes no sense to me. I have no problem with the people being well informed and getting the facts out there but not at the extreme costs that we find politics go to. What really gets me is as Americans we always learn about all of this money jumping form one place to the next after the dirty deed has been done. No one steps up and points it out as it happing and I feel if this was done more often than less might take place. I completely understand how it helps us electronically to create this type of income but I don’t believe it’s for a good cause. Countries like Britain don’t allow for this type of mudslinging to occur by any means and I can see why. The waste that occurs is so drastic and so overwhelming that you wonder we don’t advertise for free and donate that money and make it about who makes the biggest donation to organizing and does some good.

  14. Ami Gast said

    Political Ads do make a lot of money for the TV stations. I guess I’ve never thought of the profit side of it for the stations. I’ve always thought of the fact that the ads are annoying and don’t make a difference to who I vote for. Now that I think about it, ads are a good thing because they bring in money for the stations and most people just turn over the tv channel during commercials. Without the Political Ads I think local stations would have a harder time staying in business. This relates to class in the way that the media plays a part in politics. It opens up a new way for the community to see the politician and allows for the media branches to have a better profit.

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