Obama Pays Lower Olympic Rates Than RNC
At least on one level, Democrats seem to be making out better than Republicans with NBC’s Olympic coverage. The Republican National Committee (RNC) is paying 33% more for a prime-time spot than the Obama campaign.
The RNC plans to air three 30-second ads at $451,000 each during NBC’s prime-time coverage. The Obama campaign, which is running 15 ads, has locked in its price at $340,200 a spot.
The RNC last week inked a $2.6 million national Olympic buy, where it is paying higher rates than Obama across the board, according to an NBCUniversal political file. For example, the RNC is paying $50,100 each for NBC weekday daytime spots -- 55% more than Obama.
NBC does not comment on specifics of its deals. But the network is likely taking a cue from an FCC statute, which entitles a candidate to pay a comparable rate to general advertisers. For the most part, national political committees are not entitled to that benefit and a network does not face limits in what it can charge them.
Using estimates, both the Obama campaign and the RNC appear to be receiving a good discount compared to the general market, with Obama paying about half that going rate and the RNC about 60% as much.
Obama is spending more than double the RNC for all its national time during the London Games, with a $6 million buy.
The ads kicked off Friday during the Opening Ceremony as Obama aired an upbeat spot with no reference to his opponent. He was seen speaking about fighting for the middle class and a "Forward" tagline was used.
There was some question whether his campaign or the RNC (backing Mitt Romney) would go with a negative spot during the London Games, which could bring a backlash not just from the public, but from other advertisers with spots nearby.
The RNC prime-time spots are scheduled for July 28, 31 and Aug. 6. National
Media Inc. made the ad buy with NBCUniversal.
Both the Obama and the RNC agreements also include time on NBCU cable properties. Unlike Obama, who is dabbling with Bravo, CNBC and MSNBC, the RNC is only going with the NBC Sports Network at $10,000 a spot -- 67% more than Obama.
NBC provided the Obama campaign with a 15.3 household rating estimate for its prime-time coverage over the course of the Games. That would be down 6% from the Beijing Games four years ago, which had the advantage of swimming and gymnastics live in prime time.
News of the RNC campaign buy was first reported by The New York Times.