TV ads trumped

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD -

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.

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