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that’s being spent increases.” Wheel’s desirability helps it command a considerable premium. In October 2014, amid the hotly contested U.S. Senate race in Arkansas between Republican Tom Cotton and incumbent Democrat Mark Pryor, KATV-TV in Little Rock pushed prices for 30-second ads during Wheel to $50,000, from $1,250 in July, according to records filed with the Federal Communications Commission. National ads were going for about $95,000 at the time, says Will Feltus, whose company, National Media, managed ad strategies for George W. Bush’s 2004 presidential campaign. “What planet are we on?” Feltus says he remembers thinking that year. “But the reason they’re charging $50,000 is because people are paying.”
In 2012, President Obama’s reelection campaign pioneered the use of data to redirect ad spending away from expensive slots on shows like Wheel to cheaper airtime that reached specific subgroups of voters. (Often, the answer was late-night and cable-access TV.) Since then, analytics-driven ad buys have become a presidential campaign staple, but Wheel remains popular. Placing ads there can produce variable results, says David Seawright, director of analytics and product innovation for Republican consulting firm Deep Root Analytics. He says Wheel does especially well with older swing voters, persuadable female voters, and young swing voters in northeast Tennessee, but in Springfield, Mo., it tends to attract blue-collar male voters. “You cannot just make a blanket statement
and say vice president. “Anything that continues to get the reliable audiences just becomes more and more expensive, because there are more and more noncandidate advertisers out there willing to bid up the prices for that kind of programming.” �Tim Higgins
① Wheel of
② News ③ Good Morning
America ④ Today ⑤ Jeopardy! ◼Prime-time programming ● Syndicated programming
More than 5% of U.S. adults reported watching these shows The bottom line Wheel of Fortune is likely to capture more of the estimated $4.4 billion spent on political ads this election than any other show.
initial public offering, which took place in June. Since then the dispute has escalated into a war over patent claims that’s landed before the U. S. International Trade Commission, a federal agency that has the power to block both companies’ products from being imported into the U.S. from manufacturing sites in China. “Any litigation from the International Trade Commission is high stakes because the only remedy the ITC offers is banning products from the U.S. market, which can be devastating,” says Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Matt Larson. “It’s a pretty aggressively litigated case.”
As the California case proceeded, Jawbone went to the trade commission in July, claiming Fitbit had infringed six patents, including ones involving power management, protective coatings, and tracking users’ sleep or activity levels. In anticipation of mandated March 25 settlement talks in the patent case and hearings before the trade commission in May, both sides are heating up their rhetoric.
Privately held Jawbone alleged in a March 14 California court filing that Fitbit is “systematically plundering Jawbone employees and their competitor’s critical trade secrets and intellectual property.” Jawbone claimed Fitbit recruiters contacted about 30 percent of its employees to try to “decimate” the company. Several workers who left downloaded information onto thumb drives in their last days of employment, Jawbone alleges.
Fitbit, in response, described Jawbone’s allegations as “desperation” brought on by its declining market share. Fitbit has also filed its own trade case against Jawbone, claiming infringement of three patents it says relate to the monitoring devices. That case is scheduled to be heard by the commission in August.
Fitbit says Jawbone’s patents simply cover the concept of things like monitoring sleep or energy usage, not inventions worthy of legal protection. “Throughout this litigation, Jawbone has engaged in a pattern of making sensational and baseless claims and actively generating publicity in an effort to deflect attention away from its inability to succeed in the market,” Fitbit said in an e-mail. “We prefer to