Race For Dollars: Political Spend Boosts TV Station Groups

Several broadcast groups are experiencing a recent spending lift thanks to contentious political races, according to a new report. Station groups from the larger Hearst-Argyle to the smaller Gray TV appear to be profiting from races in Indiana, North Carolina and Wisconsin. And it's not from the flush dollars in the Democratic Presidential battle--yet.

In Indiana, incumbent Republican governor Mitch Daniels looks to be facing a notable fall challenge from one of two Democrats, who are readying for a May 6 primary. Also on May 6, North Carolina has seven candidates competing for party nominations for governor--three on the Democratic side, including the well-funded current lieutenant governor and treasurer--and four who are lesser-known for the GOP.

Both states are likely to also attract big-time dollars from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as they face off in primary races on that same day.

In Wisconsin, there's an April 1 race for a state Supreme Court judgeship that is drawing attention.



In Indiana, LIN TV garners 5% of TV revenues from its triopoly in Indianapolis (CBS, MyNetwokTV and Univision), while Gray TV parlays the NBC affiliate in South Bend into 6%, according to the report from Bear Stearns.

North Carolina is important to Sinclair, with 8% of TV revenues from duopolies in the Greensboro-Winston Salem (ABC and MNTV) and Raleigh-Durham (CW and MNTV) markets. Hearst-Argyle brings in 6% from the NBC affiliate in the Greensboro DMA. And in Wisconsin, Journal Communications pulls in 34% from a Green Bay duopoly (NBC and MNTV) and the NBC station in Milwaukee.

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