Study: Only modest local TV political gain in 2014
The lack of competitive races and even more to the point, a lack of competitive races in large media markets is expected to dampen political income for local broadcasters compared to the amount raked in during the 2010 election cycle.
Kantar reports that Ken Goldstein of the University of San Francisco is responsible for the prediction. He believes total election spending will amount to $6B in 2014; that half of that will go to television advertising, and that $2.4B of that will be raked in by local stations. That amount represents only a $100M gain over the amount local TV earned in 2010.
The Cook Political Report is predicting fewer competitive federal and gubernatorial races, which factors strongly into Goldstein’s prognostication.
According to Cook, there are major decreases in races that are either rated toss-up or where the race merely leans to one party or the other.
* Senate: Down from 17 to 11, with toss-ups down from 11 to 2
* House: Down from 84 to 43, with toss-ups down from 46 to 12
* Governor: Down from 22 to 11, with toss-ups down from 18 to 6
The location of the most competitive battles is also looking like a total income depressor. In 2010, 33 of the top 50 media markets were involved in at least on state-wide race. This time, at the moment, only 12 such markets are implicated.
The one thing going for television stations this time around is that rates have rebounded considerably since 2010, which was still uncomfortably close to the 2008 financial implosion, so at least broadcasters will be earning more on an ad for ad basis.