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Political ads mean big bucks for television stations

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Steven Shepard of Politico says we can look forward to tons of television advertisements this presidential election season.

“Campaign advertising in 2016 is estimated to top about $4.4 billion,” he says. “That combines the advertising run by the campaigns and the candidates themselves, and also the growth of super PACs in the post-Citizens United era. It is $500 million more than was spent in 2012, in the last presidential election.” 

Even though younger generations use the internet to get most of their information, ads are still primarily focused on television.

Shepard says, “the future might be digital, but the problem is that the advertising hasn’t really caught up with that. The ways in which you can reach people, target them, television …live television is still the best way to do that.” 

Television ads are so successful that local news stations are adding more local broadcasts in order to sell more ad space.

“The entire purpose behind that is to create more advertising inventory that they can sell to political campaigns and super PACs,” Shepard says. 

This might be good news for television stations, but for those in swing states, this election season is going to be a long one.

“If you live in a swing state or one of the early nominating states … you’re going to get the barrage over the winter, and then you’re going to get it again over the summer and fall,” Shepard says.

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