TV Political Media Buying: Networks Can Be A Better Bet

Increasingly TV networks can be a more attractive buy for political candidates and political issues versus local TV stations.

Will Feltus, senior vp of National Media Research, a political media agency, speaking at the MediaPost TV Insider Summit, says because TV stations continue to be a dominant media planning component when it comes all kind of political campaigns, their spot rates prices have grown accordingly. 

So much so, he says, TV networks shows can offer better pricing. For example, a weekend network TV news shows, such as ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” was priced at $7,500 for 30-second spot during the political season. But at the same time, a local TV station spot -- just for the Washington DC market -- was priced at $15,000 a spot. 

And while political candidates are required to get the lowest unit advertising rate at a TV station, that low rate can change day to day.

“Networks are looking attractive again,” he says.

Additionally, political campaigns may have to increase their overall spending -- if research says they need to -- at a moment’s notice. Feltus says campaigns can place up to big 1,000 gross ratings points a week in particular market at a moment’s notice.

Working for SuperPAC clients, it can be worse. Feltus says these clients can pay three to four times the rate of a political candidate.

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