Political dollars continue to flow


Marci RyvickerTotal television political spending has made it to $1.33B as of 9/30/12, according to figures released by Marci Ryvicker of Wells Fargo Securities. The bulk of that spending — $1.15B – has been on local television.

Of the local total, $304.6M of it was spent just during the month of September. That compares favorably to $240.9 spent in August and $141.9M spent in July.

Is there more to come? In a word, yes. Ryvicker pegs total political fund-raising at $4.13B. The television groups best positioned to benefit, according to Ryvicker, have been Sinclair, Gray, LIN and NBC.

42.2% of spending YTD has been aimed at the presidential race, followed by 36.9% for congressional races, 17.7% on ballot issues and 3.2% on local races.

The top five markets in terms of absolute dollars spent are Washington, Cleveland, Las Vegas, Tampa and Orlando. News Corp., CBS, Sinclair and NBC are the chief television beneficiaries, while Clear Channel, CBS and Cumulus are doing most of the feasting on the radio side. In terms of recent increases in spending, four of the same markets make the top five list, with Denver replacing Orlando.

The top five markets as a percentage of total revenue are Butte-Bozeman MT, Great Falls MT, Sioux Falls SD, Davenport IA and Glendive MT. In terms of recent increases, Helena MT replaces Sioux Falls on the list.

RBR-TVBR observation: We’ve been bombarded in our area going back to springtime. We live in a portion of North Carolina that is part of the Norfolk VA DMA but also receives programming from the Greenville-New Bern NC DMA. Both states are being fiercely contested, so there’s no escape for us when we have a choice of broadcast affiliates for a particular program.

However, the human organism is spectacularly well-equipped to adapt to its environment, so for my family, tuning out the constant political blather has become second nature. Political ads are becoming somewhat akin to the ceiling fans in our house – you can hear them if you focus on them, but otherwise the noise simply goes in one ear and out the other.