Presidential TV Ad Spend Screen Nearly $3B

Obama-Romney-AFor all the problems TV stations have had with new competing media in the last several years -- and a tough recession in 2009 -- it maintained its dominant platform in 2012 when it came to political advertising.

The TVB, the TV stations' ad-centric trade association, said TV stations maintained their high share of political advertising in 2012 -- some 80%, pulling in $2.9 billion. This was 38% higher than the 2010 total -- $2.1 billion -- and 35% above 2008's political advertising take.

In looking at all local TV efforts -- including that of local cable -- TV stations were able to maintain an 85% share of political advertising, according to the TVB.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney -- and other supporters -- outspent President Obama by a 55% to 45% ratio, says the group. But Obama actually bought 10% more spots -- in part because of TV stations' requirement to charge the lowest unit rate for political ads two months before the election.

Presidential spending on local broadcast TV stations -- from August's conventions to Election Day -- grew dramatically versus 2008, increasing over 65% to nearly $500 million. Overall, nine battleground states took in 90% of the presidential political spending.

Jack Poor, vice president of political research and analysis for the TVB, stated: "The 2012 presidential race may be over, but the battle for re-election recognition has just begun as big data, social media, mobile, TV set-top-box targeting, cable television and various other platforms seek to claim the glorious title of the biggest media impact maker on the 2012 presidential election."

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