Political Ads Predicted To Hit $2.6 Bil

ObamaRomneyWith less than a week to go, presidential-year TV station political advertising revenues is on pace to be nearly three-quarters higher than in 2008.

SNL Kagan says TV station political advertising is expected to climb 68% to $2.6 billion, up from $1.6 billion in 2008. The biggest market gainers have expectedly come from big  battleground states -- Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.

Concurring with other estimates, SNL Kagan says Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign has outspent President Barack Obama in TV and radio advertising in these states -- buying over half a billion dollars on local broadcasters.

SNL Kagan estimates the top 10 publicly held TV broadcast station groups will see a 57.5% average increase in political revenue over 2008. Total political revenue for these groups would be $625.3 million, a 41.9% increase from $440.5 million in 2008.

The best performing group will be Journal Communications, up 152% over four years ago to $32 million. E.W. Scripps is next at a 94% rise to $79.5 million. Gray Television will be 87% better to $90.5 million. Sinclair Broadcast Group rising 83% to $75 million, and Media General, 79% higher to $68.3 million.

Gannett Co. was on the few media groups to see a decrease in TV political advertising: 10% to $84.5 million.

SNL Kagan says 80% of political revenues were generated in the second half of each of the last three election years, with roughly 60% of the total coming in during the fourth quarter alone.

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