Thanks To Georgia, TV's Political Advertising Season Continues

The TV political advertising season has been extended -- thanks to the two Senate runoff elections in Georgia. Could it go on after that?

Total political advertising spending is now at a massive $329 million, according to Kantar/CMAG. Projections are it could climb to $500 million.

That $500 million would represent a massive 25% of all U.S. Senate advertising spending for the November 3 election, according to Advertising Analytics. For the election, it estimated total U.S Senate advertising was $2 billion -- $1.1 billion for Democratic candidate spending, and $870 million for Republican spending.

In key Georgia markets, Atlanta specifically, TV commercial 30-second commercials are going for three times what they were in July: $18,000 per unit.



And there’s more. Google, which had a ban on political advertising since Election Day, has lifted that restriction. Facebook, which did the same, isn’t allowing political advertising just yet. On Nov. 11, it said a pause was expected to last another month.

At the same time, Google is stopping other political-related advertising. Google, which owns YouTube, said it will begin removing content that falsely alleges widespread fraud or errors surrounding the 2020 presidential election.

The race is crucial. If either Republican is elected, the GOP will maintain a slight majority in the U.S. Senate. If both lose, there will be a 50-50 split in the Senate with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris able to break the tie.

Current projections have both Democrat contenders slightly ahead: Raphael Warnock is up over Sen. Kelly Loeffler, 49.1% to 47.2%; Jon Ossoff over Sen. David Perdue, 48.6% to 48.2%.

Kantar had estimated political spending to total $7 billion this year, broadcast TV to $3.5 billion; digital media, $1.8 billion; cable TV, $1.2 billion; and radio at $500 million.

While core TV advertising revenues sink, TV stations count on political advertising -- and retransmission revenues -- to bridge their fortunes to new digital-like technology, including OTT and CTV business. All help them compete with still growing local digital media platforms.

Is this enough? TV stations in Georgia are happy right now. And we know what they would like -- perhaps another post-election delay and maybe a recount. Voting may be over, but political advertising is forever.

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