Stretching Political Dollars: Why OTA TV Is Still King


The much anticipated first presidential debate is taking place this evening (9/29) in Cleveland.

That makes a newly released political advertising white paper, Stretching Political Dollars, jointly offered by Nielsen and Advertising Analytics, ever-so timely.

Among the top-line points that are likely of interest to broadcast media’s C-Suites:

  • Political campaigns and PACs have spent $3.1 billion on broadcast television to communicate with voters.
  • The study shows that broadcast TV, particularly on the local level, remains the number one medium with which to reach voters.

    Specifically, the report examines four different voter segments in battleground media markets (Phoenix, Orlando, Tampa, and Minneapolis) and calculates the actual cost to reach each segment based on Nielsen Voter Ratings data.

    These segments include:

    • Democrat Voters

    • Republican Voters

    • High-Frequency Voters

    • Independent Voters

  • Cost of advertising varies according to voter segments

    • Independent Voters have the highest cost per thousand (CPM) of all the voter segments. On average Independent voter CPMs were 35% higher than high-frequency voters.

    • Republicans seem to have  lower CPMs when compared to Democrats

  • Not all programming is the same

    • Of the four segments measured in the whitepaper, sports programming, in particular, was most efficient with high-frequency voters and Republicans