TV Station Groups Enjoy Political Ad Windfall
The Sinclair group had previously reported that it expects this to be a record political year for the company, with about $42 million -- 2% above 2008. Sinclair has a CW-MyNetworkTV duopoly in Las Vegas.
Meredith has the Fox station in the Nevada market that had Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spending liberally to hold onto his seat. In Phoenix, Meredith's CBS affiliate was positioned to benefit from Sen. John McCain efforts to stay in office.
In 2008, Meredith pulled in about $10 million less than this year in political dollars. With the exception of Kansas City, its stations are in markets that tilt solidly conservative.
This week, Wells Fargo released a report based on a conversation with political-ad guru Evan Tracey, where Tracey indicated that 80% of $3 billion in spending this year went to spot TV. He further indicated that cable TV gained share, but "not at the expense" of the spot market.
Also, Tracey noted that corporations did not take great advantage of a Supreme Court ruling allowing them to spend freely in support of candidates, which could have driven spending up further.