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November 4, 2006

Election campaign lucrative for TV stations

 
November 4, 2006

NEW YORK: The battle for the House and Senate is proving a windfall for local TV stations, with the number of political ad spots up 31% compared with 2002, according to a report issued on Thursday.

Nielsen Monitor-Plus said there were 942,900 campaign ads on local TV between Aug. 1-Oct. 15. Strong activity was reported in Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Providence, R.I., among other places where the campaigns are particularly contested. The midterm elections will be held next Tuesday.

The gubernatorial race in California, for instance, has been dwarfed in terms of ad-buying by governor races in Florida, Michigan, Illinois and even New York, where Democrat Eliot Spitzer is expected to win handily.

Florida Republican Charlie Crist, seeking to replace retiring Gov. Jeb Bush, bought the most ads of any gubernatorial candidate — 21,214 local TV units between Aug. 1-Oct. 15; Michigan Republican Dick DeVos was next with 20,093, followed by Illinois Democrat Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Spitzer, who each bought more than 11,000 spots.