Expect Political Awareness, Viewer Engagement To Rise In 2022

TV news networks -- following the trend of political advertising -- should see a notable rise in viewership in 2022, in conjunction with the midterm elections.

But will they tally stronger-than-expected results, given the politically hyped news stories and calls for action? Ultimately, engagement means voter activity at the polls.

Political advertising is predicted to break more records next year, all of which will bolster TV -- especially local TV stations -- in terms of ad dollars, which have been a growing business lifeline.

Consider that national political advertisers have already ramped up exposure.

MSNBC recently ran TV commercials supporting the Biden Administration’s proposed “Build Back Better” bill -- a nearly $2 trillion proposed social spending bill.

In addition, there are political ads promoting the need for national voting rights legislation. Other political messaging is aimed at stopping antitrust bills that “can hurt our most innovative companies.”



Kantar estimates that local TV stations could see another eye-popping $3.8 billion in political advertising in 2022 (up from $3.1 billion in 2018); with local pay TV (cable/satellite/telco) getting $1.4 billion ($1.2 billion in 2018); digital media (primarily Facebook and Google) at $1.2 billion ( $900 million in 2018); radio at $215 million, and OTT/CTV at$1.2 billion.

Kantar estimates overall midterms will see $7.8 billion in media ad spend.

Although few can predict news viewership data, expect numbers to climb for national TV news networks and local TV news programs in 2022. This is largely due to 2021 being an off-year politically.

2021 -- especially after the January 6 insurrection -- has seen 20% to 30% declines in viewing versus a year ago during the presidential election, as well as pressing pandemic reports, across all national TV networks.

While the on-off year political advertising trend has been a constant, analysts wonder whether we can ever break out of this yo-yo movement.

Both sides of the media spectrum -- liberal and conservative media -- have been touting key news moments for their version of voting rights, social program spending and immigration.

Your favorite opinionated prime-time news hosts have their work cut out for them.

Fact-checking and proper sourcing are not optional. They are the definition of truthful reporting.

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