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, SVP at political media agency National Media Research, speaking at the MediaPost TV Insider Summit, says that because TV stations remain a dominant media-planning component for all kinds of political campaigns. Their spot rate prices have grown so much that TV network shows can offer better pricing.

For example, a weekend network TV news show 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, D.C., market -- was priced at $15,000 a spot. 

While political candidates are required to get the lowest unit advertising rate at a TV station, that low rate can change from 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 1,000 gross ratings points a week in a particular market at a moment’s notice.

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




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