TV ads trumped
The heated presidential election has been a ratings bonanza for major news networks like CNN and Fox News. But it’s failed to deliver the political ad windfall that many expected.
Republican nominee Donald Trump has spent less on TV ads than past general election candidates. That’s hurt the stock prices of companies such as Sinclair Broadcast, Gray Television, Tribune Media and Tegna. None are household names, but they own TV stations in dozens of U.S. towns and cities.
Presidential campaigns tend to provide such broadcasters with a quarter to a third of election ad dollars every four years, said a Barclays report. This year is looking very different, although a big surge of spending in the last weeks before the election could change that, said Barclays analyst Kannan Venkateshwar.
Sinclair recently withdrew a bullish political-ad forecast because of Trump; Gray also yanked its estimate. But another broadcaster, Nexstar, said it was on track thanks to other races such as Senate campaigns.
Kantar Media, which tracks political ad spending, predicts $3.65 billion in TV ads this year, down from $3.8 billion in 2012.