Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Political Cash Ups Allure of Swing-State TV Stations

The continued allure of TV political ads, especially in close races, is being underscored this year by a series of media company purchases of local TV stations in last year's contested election markets, reports The New York Times. Gannett paid $1.5 billion for 20 stations in June, and the Tribune Company agreed to pay $2.7 billion for 19 stations in July, according to the recent NYT article, which predicted even more consolidation in the TV market later this year. The buyer appeal of the stations lies in their election-related political ad revenues as the 30-second TV commercial remains a key campaign tool despite growing digital alternatives. To see the impact of swing-state status, the article cited WBNS in Columbus, Ohio, which garnered $50 million in ad revenue in 2012, including at least $20 million directly from campaign spending, putting it ahead of comparable markets in less contentious election states. In fact, Ohio stations enjoyed a 38% increase in 2012 ad revenues overall, largely thanks to political buys, the story notes. For some states, the TV ad bonanza goes beyond presidential politics to include state and local races. For example, California was the top market for all political ad revenue last year, in part because of ballot proposition spending. For more, see the NYT article at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/08/business/media/with-political-ad-profits-swing-state-tv-stations-are-hot-properties.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

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