TV Political Revs To Hit $2.5B in '10


Midterm elections look to lift political advertising for television stations by 25% over four years ago.

Media researcher SNL Kagan says total political ad spending will top $2.5 billion. Those pure-play TV station groups' publicly traded companies will get some $300 million overall.

Of those companies, Sinclair Broadcast Group -- which has the largest footprint of all TV pure plays, with 24 full-power stations and an estimated 11.1 million TV homes -- will profit. Many of its stations are in 16 states with highly contested elections.

SNL Kagan also notes that network-owned station groups CBS and Univision have the most to gain. The researcher says the monies will boost up TV commercial rates, which have seen double-digit increases in revenues for many TV station groups over the last several quarterly periods.



While TV stations will reap big rewards, radio political ad revenue will pull in some $560 million, too. SNL Kagan's analysis shows that Cumulus Media Inc. has the largest footprint in highly contested states, with a total of 114 stations.

Among the pure-play radio groups, it says CBS Radio will do best because of its stations' locations in major contested elections -- the group owns 78 stations in 53 markets; including 50 stations, or 64% of the total, in California, Florida, Illinois and Ohio.

SNL Kagan Analyst Tony Lenoir notes: "In 2010, we expect that the combination of political unrest, high-profile congressional and gubernatorial races, and the Jan. 21 Supreme Court ruling that struck down certain laws restricting corporate and labor contributions to campaigns will lead to a political ad revenue treasure trove for broadcasters."

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